Sen. Lindsey Graham, who previously supported Ketanji Brown Jackson, announces he will oppose her Supreme Court nomination

Lindsey Graham
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  • Sen. Lindsey Graham announced he will vote against Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

  • Graham said the Supreme Court nominee's record lacks a "steady" judicial philosophy.

  • Graham last year voted for her confirmation to her current seat on the DC circuit court.

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday announced that he will vote against Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the Supreme Court, despite supporting her previous judicial nomination before the Senate last year.

"I will oppose her and I will vote no," the South Carolina Republican said on the Senate floor. "My decision is based upon her record of judicial activism, flawed sentencing methodology regarding child-pornography cases, and a belief Judge Jackson will not be deterred by the plain meaning of the law when it comes to liberal causes."

Graham described Jackson as "a person of exceptionally good character, respected by her peers, and someone who has worked hard to achieve her current position."

However, he added, "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."

"I now know why Judge Jackson was the favorite of the radical left and I will vote no," Graham said.

Graham's opposition stands in stark contrast to his support for Jackson's nomination to a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit less than a year ago. Graham voted to confirm Jackson to the lower federal court, along with two other Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Collins announced this week that she will vote to confirm Jackson; Murkowski has not yet revealed her vote.

After President Joe Biden announced Jackson as his nominee last month, Graham immediately resisted the choice. The senator had favored another rumored candidate, South Carolina federal district judge J. Michelle Childs, and expressed dismay when she was not selected to serve on the nation's high court.

Throughout Jackson's confirmation hearings last week, Graham questioned her aggressively, further indicating that he would likely oppose her nomination. Graham, along with several other Republican senators, grilled Jackson over her sentencing record in a handful of child-pornography cases from her time as a federal district judge.

The GOP members accused Jackson of being "soft on crime" because she imposed shorter sentences on child-pornography offenders than those recommended by the federal guidelines. But legal experts had widely rejected the claims, saying they lack key contact and data that Jackson's conduct was mainstream and mirrored other federal judges, and that the sentencing guidelines are outdated and overly severe. Jackson's nomination has also been endorsed by a slew of top law-enforcement officials and organizations across the country, which have also pushed back on the allegations as baseless.

Jackson herself repeatedly defended her record last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying at one point that "nothing could be further from the truth."

Republicans, who often hail conservative originalist and textualist interpretations of the Constitution, also balked at Jackson's answers on her judicial philosophy, which she described as a "methodology" that involves taking a neutral position, review both sides of the case, and apply the law to the facts of the case.

In an evenly-split Senate, Graham's opposition will not tank Jackson's nomination, as she remains on track to be confirmed with full Democratic support along with Collins' vote. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its vote on her nomination on Monday, which will later head to the full Senate.

Read the original article on Business Insider