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Durbin holds out hope for GOP support to confirm Judge Jackson, Graham says ‘stay tuned’

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin is still looking for a bipartisan confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, despite the hearings going “off the rails” at times.

“It’s still my hope,” Durbin told Fox News Digital Wednesday.

Jackson got three GOP votes last year for her confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.


But the instant Biden announced his nomination of Jackson to the Supreme Court, Graham has been highly critical, in part, because Biden passed over his suggestion: South Carolina district court Judge J. Michelle Childs. Graham said Biden’s choice of Jackson shows that “the radical Left has won.”

Graham sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee and has been one of the toughest questioners of Jackson this week, accusing her of being “wrong” on sentencing decisions involving child pornography cases.

Asked Wednesday whether Durbin has spoken to him about securing his vote, Graham told reporters: “I like Dick, we always talk.”


On whether he can support Jackson, Graham told Fox News Digital: “Stay tuned.”

During Wednesday’s hearing, Graham had a combative line of questioning with Jackson on her approach to sentencing in child pornography cases and said she should have given certain offenders more time behind bars. 

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, arrives for a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2022.

“There’s been an explosion of child pornography due to the internet and computer systems, and she refuses to use that as a sentence enhancer, which I think puts her on the low end,” Graham said on a break from the hearing. “And secondly, she will not look at the number of images downloaded. I think both of those are mistakes.”

Graham also distanced himself from QAnon, a conspiracy that a group of Satan-worshipping elites who run a child sex ring are trying to control politics and media. Asked if he’s concerned his remarks are feuding QAnon conspiracies, Graham told reporters: “I think the QAnon people are nuts. This is about deterring behavior.”

During the Supreme Court hearings, Durbin at times intervened when questions from Graham and from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, got too heated, allowing space for Jackson to answer without interruption if she chose. 

The tenor of hearings so far have been “for the most part, very positive, with a few exceptions,” Durbin said during a break. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., questions Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

He declined to call out specific senators.

“I’m not naming names,” Durbin said. “I’m just saying a few people have gone off the rails, and I’m disappointed, but we’re going to continue to do our work.”


Collins, another potential “yes” vote for Jackson, said earlier this week she still has unanswered questions about Jackson’s judicial philosophy that needs to be answered.

“I had a very good 90-minute meeting with her. But during that meeting I did not get enough information about her judicial philosophy. And that’s very important to me,” Collins, R-Maine, said Monday before the hearings kicked off. 

Fox News’ Tyler Olson and Adam Shaw contributed to this report. 

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