While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went into Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's Senate confirmation hearings with an open mind, if not optimism, he is now sounding warning bells.
After calling Jackson "a sharp lawyer with an impressive resume" for the Supreme Court, he is now concerned she is being "evasive and unclear," particularly on the critical issue of court-packing.
"She's declined to address critically important questions and ameliorate real concerns," McConnell said Wednesday on the floor of the Senate, as The Hill reported. "First and foremost is the simple question of court-packing. The far-left fringe groups that promoted Judge Jackson for this vacancy want Democrats to destroy the court's legitimacy through partisan court-packing,
"She was literally the court-packers' pick for the seat and she has repeatedly refused to reject their position."
McConnell noted both of the two most recent liberal Supreme Court departures, late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, had denounced Democrats' calls for packing the court to get back at former President Donald Trump's getting three conservative justices on the bench.
"Judge Jackson has refused to follow in the footsteps of Ginsburg and Breyer," McConnell warned in his speech. "She refuses to rule out what the radical activists want. She told Sen. [John] Kennedy [R-La.] she does have an opinion on court-packing, but it's not a strongly held opinion. In any event, she wouldn't tell the senator what it was."
McConnell said Jackson is trying "to quietly signal openness," while Breyer and RBG both "slammed the door" on court packing.
"She even told the committee, quote, 'I would be thrilled to be one of however many Congress thought appropriate to put on the court,'" McConnell said.
Also, Jackson displayed "a remarkable lack of candor" on questions of judicial philosophy, McConnell lamented.
"The nominee tried to punt by simply restating the most basic elements of a judge's job description," McConnell said.
"Judge Jackson tried to dodge questions about constitutional interpretation by claiming that she does not have enough experience," he continued.
"If Judge Jackson fully, truly feels she lacks sufficient experience with constitutional interpretation, then the Senate certainly should not confirm her."
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was expectedly doting and effusive in praise.
"It's clear to anyone watching Judge Jackson's brilliant legal mind that it was running in high gear," Schumer told the Senate after McConnell's rebuke. "She remains measured and poised and thoughtful as she worked through yesterday's grueling series of questions."
One of the questions was from Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who simply asked her to define "woman."
Jackson, who is being considered one of nine Supreme Court justices to interpret the U.S. Constitution and complex law, said she could not define that word.
Republicans note President Joe Biden vowed in the 2020 presidential campaign to pick a "Black woman." Jackson was that pick, but she should not define woman in her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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