Memphis Judge reacts to Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation

Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 8:17 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphians and Mid-Southerners are reacting to the Senate confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.

″Soon she’ll be actually sitting on that bench and the visual on that is beyond anything you can imagine,” said Circuit Court Judge, Gina C. Higgins.

Higgins has served as a judge for 12 years, and says she always hoped she would see a day like this.

″Having the ability to surround myself with other women who were judges and then seeing African American women as judges spurred something in me to say, I too could do this,” she added.

After a days-long confirmation hearing that sometimes became contentious, Judge Jackson was ultimately confirmed with a 53 to 47 vote.

Three of those votes from Republican Senators.

However, none of the senators from Mid-South states -- Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee -- voted to confirm Jackson.

All of the Mid-South Senators released statements before the hearing as to why they would vote no.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R) Arkansas

“Judge Jackson will coddle criminals and terrorists, and she will twist or ignore the law to reach the result that she wants. That’s not what we need in a Supreme Court justice, and that’s why I will be voting against her confirmation.”

Sen. John Boozman - (R) Arkansas

“I appreciate Judge Jackson’s willingness to serve our nation, but I am concerned by her judicial activism and record of legislating from the bench instead of interpreting the law as written. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to meet with her and believe she was afforded a fair, respectful nomination process, but I will not be voting to confirm her to our nation’s highest court.”

Sen. Cindy Hyde Smith - (R) Mississippi

“I take seriously my responsibility to weigh the merits of each Supreme Court nominee, including their commitment to fairly interpret the law and not substitute their own judgment for that of Congress or the Constitution. I am not confident that Judge Jackson meets that standard after having reviewed her record and confirmation proceedings.”

Sen. Roger Wicker - (R) Mississippi

“Judge Jackson was not able to address my serious concerns about her record and judicial philosophy, which were highlighted last week in her Senate confirmation hearing. The fact remains that President Biden promised to pick an activist judge who is willing to legislate from the bench, and he has done exactly that. I will be voting against her confirmation.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn - (R) Tennessee

“Throughout this process, it became clear that I could not support this nominee. The role of a Supreme Court justice is to interpret the law, not to take up arms in a culture war. I have serious concerns that Judge Jackson’s ideology may influence her jurisprudence. A justice’s primary commitment must always be to the Constitution—not to woke progressivism or results-based judicial activism. Throughout her career, Judge Jackson evaded this duty, with terrible results. She consistently handed down lenient sentences to child predators, and even granted a convicted cop killer compassionate release from prison. I cannot in good conscience support her confirmation to the highest court in the land.”

Sen. Bill Hagerty - (R) Tennessee

“While I found Judge Jackson to be deeply intelligent and committed to serving her country, I do not believe her judicial philosophy and method of constitutional interpretation align with what the Constitution demands and what Tennesseans rightly expect from a Supreme Court justice. Therefore, I am not able to support her lifetime appointment to the Court.”

Despite opposition, Judge Higgins says Thursday’s historic vote is an inspiration to people across the country, especially young black women and lawyers

″I think she made it very clear to a lot of people today that you may try to keep people down, but if it’s for you, it’s going to happen, and the opportunities in America are, are just wide open today,” Higgins said.

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