Lindsey Graham says if Republicans controlled the Senate, Jackson would not have had a hearing

Senator’s words come ahead of a deadlocked vote for confirmation of Biden nominee for country’s highest court

Eric Garcia
Monday 04 April 2022 15:40 EDT
Lindsey Graham questions Ketanji Brown Jackson about Brett Kavanaugh hearings

Republicans defended their questioning of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearing on Thursday

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Monday that if Republicans controlled the Senate, she would not have received a hearing.

Mr Graham made the remarks during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation vote for Judge Jackson weeks after her confirmation hearing. The South Carolina Republican noted how this would be the first time that he would vote against a Supreme Court nominee, having voted to confirm Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, both of whom Barack Obama appointed.

“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,” Mr Graham said during the confirmation vote hearing. “You would have had someone more moderate than this.”

Mr Graham had previously lobbied for President Joe Biden to nominate J Michelle Childs of South Carolina and criticised Democrats for their treatment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Multiple other Republican Senators criticised Ms Jackson, including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who hit out at her record.

“I believe she will prove to be the most extreme and furthest left justice ever to serve on the United States Supreme Court,” he said.

Senator Josh Hawley, who asked some of the most aggressive questions about her sentencing for child sex abuse images, attacked allegations he was engaging in conspiracy theories.

“Sex crimes against children are not fiction,” he said. “They are not a conspiracy.”

The White House had previously called his questioning a “QAnon-signaling smear.”

In response, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey asked his Republican colleagues why they voted for Republican-appointed nominees who had made similar sentences on child sex abuse cases.

“Why didn’t you vote against every one of those Republican judges that was not following the guidelines, as most don’t?” he said. “I’ve heard things that are just ridiculous.”

The Judiciary Committee adjourned Monday afternoon because of the fact that Democratic Senator Alex Padilla of California, who is on the committee, had troubles with his flight to Washington, delaying his arrival. The committee took a brief recess to allow for him to return.

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