Sen. Lankford to Newsmax: Jackson Should Not Get Lifetime Appointment

Sen. Lankford to Newsmax: Jackson Should Not Get Lifetime Appointment James Lankford gestures while speaking. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 04 April 2022 09:15 AM

Sen. James Lankford, speaking about the upcoming vote to confirm federal court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, said Monday on Newsmax that she'll likely be confirmed, but he doesn't think her judicial policy should allow her to have a lifetime appointment on the nation's highest court, particularly after President Joe Biden selected her based not just on her qualifications, but her race and sex.

"She's to be dealing with cases immediately dealing with universities, [that are] saying if universities can have racial preferences, and if we can only allow certain races to be able to come into a university, so it is just a horrible way to be able to set her up," the Oklahoma Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America."

He said he does like Jackson personally after meeting her, and considers her a "very nice person," but he won't support her nomination for the court, as he has "real concerns about how she handles deference and the executive branch, the power of the executive branch, and sentencing issues. There were multiple issues."

The senator also said he found Jackson's comments on the definition of a woman when she told Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., that she couldn't define the term, to be part of the "shocking things about culture that people look at and just scratch their heads and say that this shouldn't be hard."

"As a married man of two daughters. I can define a woman, but as a single male, I could define a woman before," said Jackson. "This goes back to when I was going through the HHS [Health and Human Services] budget last year, and they refused to use the term mother and they used 'birthing person' instead. This is just something that this administration continues to be able to drive."

But Lankford said he does expect Jackson to be confirmed this week, just as Democrats weren't able to block former President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominees, as "we don't have the votes to be able to stop her."

Meanwhile, there has been an "enormous shift" when it comes to Senate confirmations of Supreme Court nominees.

"If you go back even 15 years ago, the decision was on the president" to determine qualifications, he said.

"They would look at someone like Judge Jackson and say 'she has the legal background. She has the background and education. Here's our caseload and everything they would say okay, qualified, and not qualified."

But now, the perspective is to decide if the nominee has a "philosophy" with which a senator would agree, said Lankford, "so it's a very different shift not only in the Senate, but also in America as well."

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