Two GOP senators chose to disrespect Ketanji Brown Jackson. And it’s a bad look

And neither Lindsey Graham nor Rand Paul bothered to be on the court for it.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice by a 53-47 margin, with three Republicans joining all Democrats in voting for her. That vote paves the way for Jackson to become the first black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court.

Graham of South Carolina and Paul of Kentucky voted against Jackson, which was not surprising. But it was the path They made it worth calling.

None of the senators were allowed to vote on the Senate floor because they were not wearing ties, as noted Ali Zaslav and CNN’s Ted Barrett. Graham came to the vote in a quarter zip and a blazer, though video from a news conference Graham participated in on Thursday shows that he was wearing a tie earlier that day. He voted “no” from the Senate cloakroom, which essentially amounts to an off-floor members’ lounge.

Graham’s spokesman, Kevin Bishop, declined to say why the senator did not wear a tie to the vote when asked by CNN. “He voted. His vote was recorded,” Bishop said.

Meanwhile, Paul delayed the final vote for nearly half an hour before casting his “no” vote from the Senate wardrobe dressed in casual clothes. He did not respond to a question from Barrett Thursday about why he was late.

Senators typically cast votes from the floor of the chamber. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had asked all senators to vote from their desks on Thursday, a rare request usually reserved for significant votes such as Supreme Court nominations.

After the vote, Graham posted a web video touting his opposition to Jackson, noting that the Democrats “destroy conservative justices and expect us to just clap our hands and vote ‘Yes.'” That’s ridiculous, dangerous, and not going to happen.” (It’s also worth noting that Graham wanted President Joe Biden to nominate Judge J. Michelle Childs from his home state of South Carolina for the court vacancy rather than of Jackson).
Several Republican senators also left the chamber after the final vote, amid a standing ovation for the historic nature of the moment.

This is not normal.

And it follows a confirmation process in which Republicans sought to raise questions about Jackson’s record in cases involving child pornography. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said the judge had shown “a pattern of letting child pornography offenders go free for their heinous crimes.” A CNN review of Jackson’s writings and record revealed that “Jackson has largely followed common judicial sentencing practices in these types of cases, and that Hawley took some of his comments out of context by suggesting they were opinions, instead of follow-up questions for subject matter experts.”

Look at. It is absolutely fair that Graham and Paul oppose Jackson based on her own beliefs and their understanding of her views. But not even making it to the Senate to cast what everyone agrees is a historic vote? It’s a bad look.

This story has been updated with comments from Graham’s office.

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