Capito voting no on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Jackson
CHARLESTON — U.S. Shelley Moore Capito said Thursday she would not be among Republicans in the Senate to vote for the confirmation of federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination for the Supreme Court.
During a virtual conference call with West Virginia media Thursday morning, Capito, R-W.Va., said she respected Jackson’s resume and accomplishments, but she just couldn’t bring herself to support the nomination after listening to her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.
“Through the process and listening to the Judiciary Committee, I’ve decided that I cannot vote for her nomination for the Supreme Court,” Capito said.
Jackson spent most of last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee fielding tough questioning of her judicial experience and philosophy. Capito said she didn’t hear enough about what exactly that philosophy was.
“She didn’t really flesh out with me or in the committee what kind of judicial philosophy she would have in terms of how she would look at the Constitution and how it interacts with contemporary life,” Capito said. “I think you have to have a core belief, a judicial philosophy, so we can tell what direction that she might go.”
Capito also said she that some previous cases that Jackson had ruled on during her federal career on the bench raised some red flags.
“She also had some cases in her background that caused me concern, mostly around the separation of powers,” Capito said. “In a couple of cases she had ruled, I think, in a philosophical way where her own personal beliefs were entering in, then was overturned by the whole panel of judges here in D.C.”
Capito split from U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who announced at the end of last week that he would support Jackson’s nomination, giving Jackson all 50 Senate Democrats plus a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris if needed. But earlier this week, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she would support Jackson’s nomination as well. Unlike most votes in the Senate, Supreme Court nominations only require a simple 51-vote majority of 100 members.
Jackson is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, previously serving as a U.S. District Judge and a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. She is a former federal public defender. President Joe Biden nominated Jackson to succeed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his retirement after 27 years on the high court.
Biden nominated Jackson for the Appeals Court bench last year, a nomination that Capito also opposed. Jackson met with Capito in her office earlier this month.
“She came to my office, and we had a very great conversation. She came to me to talk to me about the concerns I had,” Capito said. “There is no personal issue here with me with her. She has a great background, a great family, and was very open in her conversation with me which I appreciated.”
The U.S. Senate could vote on Jackson’s nomination as soon as the end of next week.