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Graham flips on Ketanji Brown Jackson, will oppose her Supreme Court nomination

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Thursday he will oppose Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court, a change from a year ago when Graham was one of three GOP senators to approve Jackson to an appellate court. 

Graham announced his opposition on the Senate floor Thursday, citing, in part, Jackson’s record as a federal court judge in sentencing child pornography offenders to lesser sentences than the guidelines stated. 

“I oppose and will vote against the nomination of Judge Jackson to the Supreme Court,” Graham said. “My decision is based upon her record of judicial activism, flawed sentencing methodology regarding child pornography cases, and a belief that Judge Jackson will not be deterred by the plain meaning of the law when it comes to liberal causes.”

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, Tuesday, March 22, 2022.

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


Murkowski has not yet announced how she’ll vote, whereas Collins announced this week she would support Jackson, giving the White House at least some level of bipartisan support for President Biden’s first Supreme Court nominee. 

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. 

In Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Graham was one of the toughest questioners of Jackson on her child pornography sentencing record. On Thursday, he called her an “evasive” witness and decried her record of not using two sentencing enhancement factors as a federal judge that he says would serve as a deterrent to the “explosion of child pornography on the internet.”


“I find Judge Jackson to be a person of exceptionally good character, respected by her peers, and someone who has worked hard to achieve her current position,” Graham said Thursday. “However, her record is overwhelming in its lack of a steady judicial philosophy and a tendency to achieve outcomes in spite of what the law requires or common sense would dictate.”

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson listens to opening statements during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Monday, March 21, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Graham was a vocal opponent of Jackson the instant Biden announced her as his nominee. Biden passed over Graham’s pick – South Carolina district court Judge J. Michelle Childs – in favor of Jackson, who Graham dubbed “the favorite of the Radical Left.”

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said that Jackson did a good job at her confirmation hearings of holding her own against Graham. King said Graham still seemed irked that Biden didn’t choose Childs. 

“He seems to be most upset that his candidate didn’t get it,” King said last week on a break during the Judiciary Committee hearings. “And to me, that’s not a sufficient reason to vote against this candidate”.

The Senate is expected to vote on Jackson’s confirmation next week. She’d make history as the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

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