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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman says he'll oppose Jackson's nomination to Supreme Court

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, right, and U.S. Senator Rob Portman on Friday Jan. 21, 2022 in Newark, Ohio [Paul Vernon / AP]
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, right, and U.S. Senator Rob Portman

Retiring Republican US Sen. Rob Portman will stick with most of his party and oppose Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s nominee to the US Supreme Court.

That means a split vote for Ohio’s two Senators in Jackson's confirmation vote in the Senate later this week.

Portman writes in a statement that he met Jackson and found her to be “engaging and thoughtful with strong credentials”. He said he asked her about "her approach to interpreting and applying the law, restraints on judicial activism", specific cases and whether she supports adding more justices to the US Supreme Court, which has been criticized by Republicans and embraced by some Democrats. Portman writes based on those answers he's concluded: "We simply have a different judicial philosophy."

Portman adds: “I am concerned Judge Jackson will use her position on the Supreme Court to legislate from the bench as many more activist judges have done in recent decades.”

But Ohio’s Democratic US Sen. Sherrod Brown is an enthusiastic "yes" vote.

Brown has praised Jackson's experience and character and said in a statement in Februarythat "she brings with her a diverse set of experiences and perspectives that have long been lacking from our nation’s highest court. This is why Judge Jackson also has a history of bipartisan support."

In an interview, Brown blasted the Republican Senators on the Judiciary Committee "who plan to run for president" ask Jackson questions that were "nasty, and divisive and demagogic and embarrassing, frankly."

But Brown added, "She handled them with grace and humor for hour after hour after hour. So she’s going to be confirmed and she’s going to be a very good member of the Supreme Court.”

Brown is meeting with Jackson today.

Republican US Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah say they’ll break from the GOP and vote to confirm Jackson later this week.

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