The Senate Judiciary Committee spent a good part of Monday as it spent a good part of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s week of hearings: Republicans foaming at the mouth with vitriol over entirely imaginary stuff and decades-old grievances. The vote in the committee has been delayed by Sen. Alex Padilla’s (D-CA) travel woes; a medical emergency forced the early flight he was on to turn around. The vote was postponed to the end of the day because Republicans refused to extend the courtesy that Democrats extended even for Trump nominees, trading a vote to ensure a nominee that will have majority support advances.
That’s how it is. Republicans aren’t going to do anything to help a Democratic president’s nominee move forward, and if they regain the Senate this November, there won’t be another Biden nominee confirmed. Sen. Lindsey Graham admitted it freely in the committee meeting Monday. “If we get back the Senate and we’re in charge of this body and there’s judicial openings, we will talk to our colleagues on the other side, but if we were in charge she would not be before the committee. You would have had someone more moderate than this.”
Donate now to give Democrats a true majority in the Senate.
There won’t be a Democratic president’s nominee who will qualify as “more moderate” for Republicans. Period. It’s not just no Democratic president’s Supreme Court confirmation in presidential election years. It’s no Democratic president’s Supreme Court confirmation, ever, if the Republicans are in charge.
Listen and subscribe to Daily Kos' The Brief podcast with Markos Moulitsas and Kerry Eleveld
If you needed more proof, Mitch McConnell provides it, “putting public and private pressure on his Senate Republican colleagues to oppose President Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court, despite the historic nature of her nomination to be the first Black woman on the court,” The Hill reports. He made an “impassioned plea” for his colleagues to oppose Jackson at a Republican luncheon recently, according to at least one senator who was there.
“He sought recognition and said, ‘I just want to thank the members of the Judiciary Committee for the great work they’ve done in exposing this judge’s radical record, and in particular her record on child pornography cases are alarmingly extreme,’” the senator said. “I think the Democrats thought this would be an easy process, confirmation, but it’s not going to be because she’s a radical nominee, and I would hope that every Republican would look seriously at her record, which I think is troubling.”
She’s a perfectly qualified nominee and not a radical. At all. As Republicans who aren’t running for president in 2024 and aren’t Mitch McConnell admit. Sen. Roy Blunt, (R-MO), for example: “I think she’s certainly going to be confirmed,” Blunt said. “I think it’ll be a high point for the country to see her go on the court and take her unique perspective to the court. […] I won’t be supporting her, but I’ll be joining others in understanding the importance of this moment.”
Or Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), who said:
“There is no doubt that Judge Jackson is well qualified and her nomination as the first black woman to the Supreme Court is historic. I was impressed with her knowledge, her composure, and her character during more than 20 hours of questioning.”
Never mind all that, she wouldn’t answer his question about whether she supported the court's expansion. That excuse is entirely specious. Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett also refused to answer the question. Pressed on that, Tillis argued, “It’s a very different question now than it was when Judge Barrett was here.” Gee, I wonder why?
Nothing in those 20 hours of hearings that Republicans came up with to oppose Jackson is credible, McConnell’s “soft on crime” schtick included. It’s not real. It’s politics. Al Cross, a professor of journalism at the University of Kentucky and a political commenter it the state nails it. “I can’t imagine he really believes her judgment in these child porn cases is a disqualifier to be on the Supreme Court, but once it’s been such an issue in conservative media, then it takes on a life of its own,” he said.
Any excuse that presents itself is going to be used. No matter how offensive and destructive. No matter how appalling most of America finds it.