Both of Wyoming’s U.S. senators plan to vote against Judge Kentaji Jackson’s appointment to the nation’s highest court.
Nominated by President Joe Biden, Jackson is expected to be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court by the U.S. Senate in the coming days. The confirmation vote follows a tie vote along party lines in the Senate Judiciary Committee on whether to recommend Jackson’s appointment.
Sen. John Barrasso, a Republican, said he had hoped Biden would select a more moderate judge to fill the vacancy created with the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer.
“President Biden had an opportunity to make a more mainstream choice,” Barrasso wrote in an email to Cowboy State Daily. “Instead, he once again listened to the most extreme voices in his party.”
Jackson made headlines last month when Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, asked during a confirmation hearing how Jackson would define the word “woman.”
Jackson refused to give a definition, saying “I’m not a biologist.”
Barrasso did not reference the exchange directly, but noted other concerns, namely that Jackson may “legislate from the bench.”
“I disagree with Judge Jackson’s judicial philosophy and interpretation of the Constitution,” he said, noting that Supreme Court justices make decisions that “impact Wyoming and our country for generations to come.”
‘Duty to Oppose’
Wyoming’s junior senator, Republican Cynthia Lummis, told Cowboy State Daily that it is her “duty to oppose” Jackson’s confirmation, given what Lummis has learned about her record and philosophy.
“I take my constitutional duty of fully vetting each of the president’s nominees very seriously,” Lummis wrote in an email, adding that she met Jackson personally, spoke with others, and reviewed Jackson’s record.
“I am not confident that she will be able to fairly and impartially interpret the Constitution as originally drafted,” wrote Lummis. “Though I expect that she will ultimately be confirmed, on behalf of the people of Wyoming I believe it is my duty to oppose her nomination.”
Republicans on Board
Jackson’s confirmation is expected to pass the Senate because three Republicans have announced their decisions to vote to confirm her: Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska.
Romney, a former presidential candidate who unsuccessfully challenged Barack Obama, called Jackson “well-qualified,” and said she “more than meets the standard of excellence and integrity.”