Video Shows Republicans Walking out of the Senate Chamber as Ketanji Brown Jackson Was Confirmed

President Joe Biden holds hands with nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as they watch the Senate confirmation vote from the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
Mitt Romney Claps For Ketanji Brown Jackson As His GOP Colleagues Walk Out
Mitt Romney Claps for Ketanji Brown Jackson as His GOP Colleagues Walk Out

Not everyone is excited about Ketanji Brown’s confirmation approval.  With recalcitrant behavior expected, Republicans walked out of the Senate chamber as a standing ovation was given while Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed as the Black female Supreme Court justice in US history.

Video footage showed several Republican senators leaving their seats and heading to the exits as applause erupted in the chamber after the Senate voted 53-47 to confirm her to the Supreme Court yesterday. The one Republican senator filmed joining the applause as colleagues filed past was Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who was one of only three moderate Republicans who voted to confirm Joe Biden’s nominee. The others were Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

Romney’s support for Jackson was a surprise. In June, unlike Murkowski and Collins, he voted against confirming her to her seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

The Utah senator told reporters Tuesday that he decided to vote for Jackson this time because the more he got to know about her, the more he came to believe she would be a solid, fair-minded justice.

He was not the lone Republican disrespectful to Jackson. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was late for the vote and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said he was not admitted to the Senate chamber because he wasn’t wearing a tie and had to cast his “no” vote from the cloakroom instead.

Jackson’s confirmation hearings were a grueling process, with the US appeals court judge at times subjected to questioning and accusations by Republicans that legal experts have denounced as unfair and misleading.

During the confirmation, Sen. Josh Hawley claimed she had been lenient towards offenders guilty of child sexual abuse image offences, in a line of attack criticized by the White House as a dog whistle to the far-right QAnon movement.

Sen. Tom Cotton groundlessly claimed that she would have defended Nazi war criminals, falsely claiming that she had chosen to defend Guantanamo Bay inmates while neglecting to mention the cases were assigned to her when she was a public defender.

In a sign of the deep partisan divisions in the Senate, the vote to advance Jackson’s confirmation in the Senate Justice Committee was deadlocked, with Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer having to use a special procedure to advance the process in a full Senate vote.

Democrats criticized the Republicans’ questioning but throughout the process Brown did have her supporters.

“You could try and create a straw man here, but it does not hold,” said New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker at the committee’s vote earlier this week when the panel deadlocked on the nomination 11-11, but the Senate voted to discharge it from committee and moved ahead with her confirmation.

In an impassioned moment during the hearings, Senator Booker told Jackson that he felt emotional watching her testify. He said he saw “my ancestors and yours” in her image.

“Don’t worry, my sister,” Booker said. “Don’t worry. God has got you. And how do I know that? Because you’re here, and I know what it’s taken for you to sit in that seat.”


Congratulations Judge Jackson!

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