Sen. Mitt Romney sat down with Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on Tuesday as he undertakes a “deeper dive” into her judicial record ahead of the next step in the confirmation process.
“Judge Jackson and I had a wide-ranging discussion about her experience and qualifications. Her dedication to public service and her family are obvious, and I enjoyed our meeting,” the Utah Republican said in a statement afterward.
“I appreciate the time she spent answering my questions, which was helpful as I continue my review of her record and testimony.”
Enjoyed meeting with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden's nominee to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. We had a wide-ranging discussion about her experience and qualifications, which was helpful as I continue my review of her record and testimony. pic.twitter.com/tUpCLg6odN— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) March 29, 2022
Romney said in an interview that aired Tuesday on CNN+’s “The Source with Kasie Hunt” that he hasn’t decided how he will vote on President Joe Biden’s choice to fill an upcoming vacancy on the nation’s highest court.
“I’ll complete that analysis and then reach a decision, but I’ve not reached my decision,” Romney said.
“I have begun a deeper dive, a much deeper dive than I had during the prior evaluation,” Romney told Hunt, adding, “in this case, as well, she’s gone into much more depth talking about her judicial philosophy than she had before. And we’re, of course, looking at her judicial record, as a district judge and as an appellate judge, in far more depth than we had before.”
Romney voted against confirming Jackson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last year.
Jackson spent last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee where Republicans grilled her about her judicial philosophy while trying to paint her as soft on crime because of her lesser sentences in child pornography cases. The 22-member panel is scheduled to vote April 4 on whether to advance her nomination to the full Senate. Romney is not a member of the committee.
Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a Judiciary Committee member, was among the GOP senators who went after Jackson on that issue.
Romney downplayed the allegations members of his party leveled against Jackson during the hearings.
“It struck me that it was off course, meaning the attacks were off course that came from some,” he told The Washington Post last week. “And there is no there, there.”
Asked in the CNN interview about the tone and tenor of the hearings and how Republicans questioned Jackson, Romney told Hunt, “Some colleagues on my side of the aisle, I thought, asked respectful questions, and were able to elicit responses from her that I think were very helpful to those that are making an evaluation.”
But he said, “I thought some were preparing for their presidential campaign. And were, if you will, doing the things you have to do to get on TV, which I think is unfortunate.”
Romney said hearings that don’t show respect for a witness, or in this case, a judge, is not the right way to go.
“We should show, in my opinion, more respect for one another. And so sometimes the rhetoric was a little hot. But I think in the final analysis we’ll each be able to make our decision based upon our personal interviews with Judge Jackson, and with the results that come from these hearings,” he said.