Confused Woodruff Questions Why McConnell Doesn’t Support Jackson

A confused PBS NewsHour host Judy Woodruff sought to inquire on Wednesday how Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell could possibly oppose Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court considering some conservatives have signaled support for her.

Sounding like Biden administration spokesman Andrew Bates, Woodruff Jackson claimed is a historic nominee and not just in the sense of Biden’s pledge to nominate a black woman, “Her nomination has been enthusiastically endorsed by some prominent conservative judges. Thomas Griffith, Michael Luttig who called her the “most credentialed and experienced nominee in history.” What would be a compelling reason to deny her a seat on the Court?”

McConnell responded by giving Woodruff the compelling reason she wanted, “When I met with Judge Jackson, I tried to suggest to her in the nicest possible way that she might want to mirror the comments of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer in opposition to court packing and to term limits for the Supreme Court…She decided not to take a position on that. I wish she had.”

For good measure, McConnell also gave a second compelling reason, “The issue always is: are you a judicial activist or do you believe in the quaint notion that Justice Scalia always reminded of us of, the job of the judge is to follow the law .”

Despite McConnell answering her question, Woodruff wasn’t buying it, “So you think not taking a position is enough to disqualify her?”

The question of whether or not to pack the Court is not in the realm of the usual questions covered by The Ginsburg Rule in that it is a legitimate concern that interest and senators alike should care about.

For his part, McConnell concluded by saying he is currently undecided, but that Republicans will treat Jackson respectfully, unlike how Democrats treated Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh.

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Here is a transcript for the March16 show:

PBS NewsHour
03/16/2022
7:30 PM ET

JUDY WOODRUFF: And, finally, Mr. Leader, a question about the Supreme Court nominee. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, as you know, has been nominated by President Biden, the hearing confirmations begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee next week. Her nomination has been enthusiastically endorsed by some prominent conservative judges. Thomas Griffith, Michael Luttig who called her the “most credentialed and experienced nominee in history.” What would be a compelling reason to deny her a seat on the Court?

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Well, as you know, the Senate is — is — a co-partner with the president in personnel business. He nominates and we decide to confirm. One of the concerns that I have and many of us have is the integrity of the Court itself. When I met with Judge Jackson, I tried to suggest to her in the nicest possible way that she might want to mirror the comments of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer in opposition to court packing and to term limits for the Supreme Court. Both Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer have been outstanding in beating back the voices of the left attacking the Supreme Court by suggesting that it be packed or term-limited. She decided not to take a position on that. I wish she had. I don’t think that signals anything at all about how she might rule in a particular case, but simply the integrity of the court itself. That was disappointing. I think she’s a very intelligent, clearly qualified nominee. The issue always is: are you a judicial activist or do you believe in the quaint notion that Justice Scalia always reminded of us of, the job of the judge is to follow the law.

WOODRUFF: So you think not taking a position is enough to disqualify her?

MCCONNELL: I haven’t made a decision. I haven’t announced how I’m going to vote. The hearings are next week. They will be thoroughly respectable, quite different from the way the Democrats treated Clarence Thomas, quite different from the way the Democrats treated Brett Kavanaugh.

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