GOP Sen. Capito Voting No on Jackson for Being Evasive, ‘Activist’

GOP Sen. Capito Voting No on Jackson for Being Evasive, 'Activist' Shelley Moore Capito Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., left, meets with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on March 15. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By Eric Mack | Thursday, 31 March 2022 01:23 PM

While Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is likely to get confirmed to the Supreme Court, it will come without the vote of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

"After meeting with Judge Jackson, reviewing her judicial record, and evaluating the issues raised during her nomination hearings, I have reached the conclusion that I will not vote to confirm her to the Supreme Court," Capito wrote in a statement Thursday. "I respect Judge Jackson's accomplishments, appreciate her personal outreach, and congratulate her on the historic nature of her nomination.

"However, I have concerns that prevent me from supporting her confirmation."

Among the topline reasons for voting against the justice nominee is her unwillingness to answer questions about judicial philosophy, which was a deal-breaker for Capito.

"Specifically, during her confirmation hearings, Judge Jackson would not define her judicial philosophy, which, for me, is one of the most important factors when considering nominees," Capito's statement continued. "Sitting on the Supreme Court is very different from serving as a judge in lower courts, and Judge Jackson's lack of a judicial philosophy provides little clarity as to how she will evaluate cases that come before her.

"Although Judge Jackson indicated that Supreme Court Justices must defer to the letter of the law and the text of the Constitution, some of her previous opinions have failed to adhere to this standard. Judge Jackson also suggested that she supports the ability of the Court to 'discover' unenumerated rights that go beyond the original intent of the Constitution, which would turn the Supreme Court into an activist, quasi-legislative body."

Capito also fears Jackson will be an "activist justice" that will not serve the interests of West Virginians.

"I am also concerned by Judge Jackson's inability to commit to reining in executive agency overreach, particularly as the Biden administration implements agency rulemaking that goes beyond the statutory intent of Congress, and will harm my state of West Virginia particularly," Capito's statement added. "The support of outside organizations that have explicitly advocated for an activist justice who will pursue their far-left policy goals does not assuage these concerns."

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