McConnell Remarks Before Final Vote on Judge Jackson

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Judge Jackson:

“President Biden was elected on the promise that he would govern as a moderate and unite the country. He insisted the radical left would not be calling the shots on his watch.

“But when it came to one of the most consequential decisions a president can make, a lifetime appointment to our highest Court, the Biden Administration let the radicals run the show.

“With Washington Democrats in power, the far left got the reckless inflationary spending they wanted. The far left has gotten the insecure border they wanted. And today, the far left will get the Supreme Court Justice they wanted.

“The fringe activists who demand partisan court-packing, attack the Justices, and describe our Constitution as ‘trash’ made up their minds from the start of the Biden Administration. If a Supreme Court vacancy should arise, they wanted one nominee and one nominee only: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

“They spent dark money to promote this person specifically. They pushed her for the D.C. Circuit. Then they badgered Justice Breyer to quit.

“In February, one of these groups announced Judge Jackson would be the nominee before President Biden did. Think about that for a moment.

“The Senate has examined Judge Jackson’s qualifications with the seriousness and vigor that a lifetime appointment deserves.

“Unlike when the parties’ positions are reversed, the country was not subjected to uncorroborated smear campaigns, committee boycotts, stunts with cardboard cut-outs, or mobs chasing Senators around the Capitol.

“Now, a few of our Democratic colleagues seem to have decided in advance they would claim that Judge Jackson was treated shabbily. So I’ve heard that script recited  —  even though it didn’t happen.

“Let’s be clear: No nominee before the Senate for any position deserves a cakewalk or a coronation. Tough questions about a federal judge’s own rulings and statements are the definition of fair game. My Republican colleagues’ vigorous inquiry shed important light on a frequently disturbing judicial record. I applaud my colleagues for focusing on substance and not following Democrats’ recent precedents into the gutter.

“Unfortunately, what the Senate’s process turned up was disturbing.

“First, the nominee would not follow the Ginsburg-Breyer precedent and denounce the insane concept of partisan court-packing.

“Second, her judicial record is full of cases where Judge Jackson ruled like a policymaker implementing personal biases, instead of a judge following text where it led.

“And third, her aggressive judicial activism frequently focused on treating convicted criminals as gently as possible.

“In case after case, from deadly fentanyl to open borders to child exploitation, Judge Jackson tilted the scales of justice away from public safety and innocent victims, in favor of her career-long passion for softening up criminal sentencing. In Judge Jackson’s courtroom, plain legal text and clear congressional intent were no match for what the Judge admits are her personal ‘policy disagreements.’

“Even as a violent crime wave sweeps America, Democrats are pursuing a nationwide campaign to make the justice system softer on crime. They are stacking the deck with far-left prosecutors, woke warriors at the Department of Justice, and federal judges who believe criminals deserve lighter treatment. This project is terrible for innocent American families. And every piece of evidence suggests Democrats view Judge Jackson as its crown jewel.

“I’ll close with this. These debates about judicial philosophy are not just academic.

“The charged political atmosphere around confirmations, the outsized role that unelected judges play in our national life — these are direct consequences of liberal judicial activism. They’re direct results of the effort to misuse federal courts as a progressive legislature that voters can’t kick out.

“A Republic of self-governing citizens should not spend every June watching with bated breath to see if five or six lawyers will hand down sweeping policy changes with zero basis in the written Constitution.

“And the solution is not to make the Court even more of a super-legislature, like liberals want. A delegitimizing death spiral like that would destroy the rule of law.

“There is only one solution. The Senate should only confirm Justices who will follow the text of our laws and Constitution wherever it leads. Who will leave subjective policy judgments on this side of the street where they belong.

“That is how we lower the temperature. That’s how we shore up the courts. That’s how we protect the rule of law.

“Staff the judiciary with brilliant men and women who understand and embrace this limited role.

“No other road leads anywhere good for our great nation.”


Related Issues: Judicial Nominations, Supreme Court, Crime