Portman statement on Supreme Court nominee Jackson

Staff report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) issued the following statement on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson:

“Judge Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court is historic and all Americans can be proud of her personal story.

“I appreciated meeting with Judge Jackson, watching the Judiciary Committee hearings, and listening to her responses to member questions. I found her to be engaging and thoughtful with strong credentials, but based on her responses to my questions, her record, and her answers at her confirmation hearing, I cannot support her nomination.

“We simply have a different judicial philosophy. I believe the job of a Supreme Court Justice is to fairly and impartially apply the law and protect our rights guaranteed by the Constitution, not to advance public policy goals by legislating from the bench. During our meeting, I asked Judge Jackson about her approach to interpreting and applying the law, restraints on judicial activism, and her experience as a judge. I’ve asked each of the Supreme Court nominees who have come before the Senate during my tenure about this.

“Although Judge Jackson doesn’t have a long record as an appellate judge, her district court opinions, such as Make the Road New York v. McAleenan and American Meat Institute v. USDA, indicate she does not feel constrained by the plain language of congressionally-enacted statutes or judicial precedent. Based on her record, answers to questions in the Judiciary Committee, and my meeting with her, I am concerned Judge Jackson will use her position on the Supreme Court to legislate from the bench as many more activist judges have done in recent decades.

“Lastly, during our personal meeting, Judge Jackson refused to say whether she supports adding more justices to the Court, a court-packing proposal the radical Left supports that would politicize and discredit the Court. During her hearing, she said she would be ‘thrilled to be one of however many justices there are on the Court,’ which suggests she is indifferent to the idea of court packing. Even her mentor, Justice Stephen Breyer, as well as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, defended the institution and opposed packing the Court, recognizing it would call the Court’s integrity into question. Judge Jackson could have committed to protecting the Court’s credibility and the rule of law, but she declined to do so.

“Because of these reasons I have decided that I will not support Judge Jackson to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court.”