The U.S. Senate on Friday, by a margin of 53-47, voted to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court, to replace Justice Stephen Breyer once he officially retires after the current term.
Before that confirmation vote, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) delivered a speech that laid out all of the reasons why he would be unable to vote in favor of Jackson’s nomination, CNS News reported.
The Texas Republican’s opposition to the Democratic nominee was summed up by his belief that the judge would be “the furthest left of any justice to have ever served on the Supreme Court.”
Threat to constitutional rights and liberties
Sen. Cruz held a brief press conference Friday morning in advance of the confirmation vote alongside fellow GOP Sens. Marsha Blackburn (TN), Mike Lee (UT), and Lindsey Graham (SC) to explain their considered opposition to Judge Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
“Based on her record, I believe she will prove to be the furthest left of any justice to have ever served on the Supreme Court,” Cruz said of Jackson.
“Based on her record, I think we can anticipate that she will vote consistently to undermine the constitutional rights of Americans — to undermine our rights to free speech, to undermine our rights to religious liberty, to undermine our rights under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms,” the senator asserted.
Lenient sentences for criminal defendants
“But there is no area of law where her record is more extreme than in criminal law,” Cruz said. “When it concerns criminal law, Judge Jackson’s record is far, far, far out of the mainstream.”
The Texas Republican went on at length to detail how Jackson had consistently delivered lenient sentences well below the national average of other federal judges as well as federal sentencing guidelines and recommendations, particularly in cases involving possession and distribution of child pornography.
“She is an extreme outlier on the question of crime, and as a Supreme Court justice, I think we can reasonably expect that Justice Jackson will consistently vote — as she has done as a judge for the last ten years — for more lenient sentences for criminal defendants, for releasing violent criminals, for lessening the punishment on the very worsts sex offenders,” Cruz said.
“This was a nomination that was out of the mainstream,” he concluded. “And I believe it is a nomination that jeopardizes the constitutional rights of every American.”
Jackson will be an “activist jurist” on the high court
Following Jackson’s confirmation later that day, Sen. Cruz reiterated those prior remarks in a statement and noted that after assessing the judge’s “record and judicial philosophy,” it became clear to him that “her record is radical and that she would be an activist on the Supreme Court.”
“It also became apparent that Judge Jackson will be an activist jurist on the Supreme Court, and a consistent vote to undermine our fundamental rights, such as free speech, religious liberty, and the Second Amendment,” he said. “Based on Judge Jackson’s abysmal record on criminal sentencing, the repeated incidents in which she has substituted her political preferences in place of the law, and her inability to explain her judicial philosophy, I voted against confirming her to the Supreme Court.”