Surprising no one but disappointing many regardless, Florida’s GOP Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott voted against confirming Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court.
Fortunately for the country, the Senate still approved Justice Jackson’s confirmation in a historic 53 to 47 vote that saw three Republicans break party lines and vote with the Democrats. They were Senators Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins.
Justice Jackson was the first Black female justice to be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to serve as vice president, added to the historic moment by presiding over the vote.
The confirmation was a special day for Florida as well; Justice Jackson becomes the first Floridian to sit on the Supreme Court. Leave it to Senators Rubio and Scott to try and spoil the party.
It’s not like they had valid reasons to vote no on the confirmation, and they didn’t offer much of an explanation for their incontinent obstructive behavior. Both Florida Senators met with Justice Jackson through her confirmation process, and despite her impressive resume and qualifications, Scott and Rubio were more interested in partisan politicking rather than coming to a decision by an objective examination of her merits.
It’s actually embarrassing to see Republicans like Rubio and Scott twist themselves into pretzels when trying to justify voting against confirming Judge Jackson despite having to acknowledge how qualified and inspiring she is.
He's signaled this for a while, but @marcorubio has made his opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson official: "Judge Jackson’s story is inspiring, but we have serious disagreements on the Constitution and the proper role of the Supreme Court."
— Gary Fineout (@fineout) April 4, 2022
“Judge Jackson’s record of weak sentencing is gravely concerning & disqualifying for a seat on SCOTUS. She’s shown she won’t stand up for the rule of law. That’s unacceptable & why I cannot vote to confirm her,” Scott tweeted.
Rubio released a statement saying he was not going to support any nominee that believed it appropriate to create rights instead of interpreting and defending the Constitution as written. Whatever that means.
It’s worth just what lengths Republicans will go to obstruct judicial appointments. During President Obama’s last year in office, Mitch McConnell held up the confirmation of Merrick Garland until Donald Trump was elected president, effectively stealing a Supreme Court seat. It’s very likely that if Republicans had control of the Senate, they would have not given Justice Jackson a hearing.
There have been three Black justices in the history of the Supreme Court after Justice Jackson’s confirmation, the other two being Clarence Thomas and the late Thurgood Marshall. She will also be the sixth woman, and with her confirmation now in place, it will also be the first time the Supreme Court will have four women on the bench.
“We’ve taken another step toward making our highest court reflect the diversity of America,” Biden tweeted upon the confirmation.
Florida’s GOP Senators dropped the ball.
Thomas Kennedy is an elected Democratic National Committee member representing Florida. He tweets from: @tomaskenn.
is a former reported opinion columnist and roving correspondent. He's an elected member of the Democratic National Committee from Florida and a fomer Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.