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On Friday, Senator Joe Manchin announced that he intends to vote for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s conformation, a move that could pave the way to her place at the court.
In the evenly split Senate, Manchin’s vote tends to be a pivotal one. The West Virginian Democrat tends to vote with Republicans on issues, which could have blocked Jackson from sitting on the bench.
“After meeting with her, considering her record, and closely monitoring her testimony and questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, I have determined I intend to vote for her nomination to serve on the Supreme Court,” Manchin said in a statement posted to Twitter Friday.
“Judge Jackson’s record and career are exemplary,” Manchin continued, summarizing her legal profession to date. “Judge Jackson was educated in our public school system and, through her hard work, graduated with academic honors from Harvard University and Harvard Law School.”
“Her wide array of experiences in varying sectors of our judicial system have provided Judge Jackson a unique perspective that will serve her well on our nation’s highest court,” Manchin wrote.
He said that during their meeting, Jackson was “warm and gracious.”
“On top of her impressive resume, she has the temperament to make an exceptional jurist,” Manchin wrote.
He continued on to note that Jackson and her family spend “a great deal of time in West Virginia and her deep love of our state and commitment to public cursive were abundantly clear.”
This comes just one day after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he would not be voting to confirm Jackson.
“I went into the Senate’s process with an open mind. But after studying the nominee’s record, and watching her performance this week, I cannot and will not support Judge Jackson for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court,” McConnell said.
Jackson’s record of giving lenient sentences to child pornographers has been a point of concern to Senate Republicans.
During the Senate hearing, Jackson said that she gave lighter sentences than the guidelines recommended for those with online child pornography records because the guidelines were created at a time when the mail was the primary method of distributing and receiving such content.
“As you said, the guideline was based originally on a statutory scheme and directives, specific directives by Congress, at a time in which more serious child pornography offenders were based on the volume, on the number of photographs that they received in the mail. And that made total sense before, when we didn’t have the internet, when we didn’t have distribution,” Jackson said.
“But the way that the guideline is now structured is leading to extreme disparities in the system because it’s so easy for people to get volumes of this material now, by computers. So it’s not doing the work of differentiating who is more a serious offender in the way that it used to. So the commission has taken that into account, and perhaps even more importantly courts are adjusting their sentences in order to account for the changed circumstances,” she continued.