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Ohio's Republican US Senator says he'll oppose Jackson's nomination to Supreme Court

US Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH, third from left) sits next to US Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on the stage at the Midland Theatre in Newark on January 21, 2022. They were there, along with Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH, far left) and US Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville), for the announcement from Intel that the computer chip manufacturer would be building a facility in Licking County.
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US Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH, third from left) sits next to US Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on the stage at the Midland Theatre in Newark on January 21, 2022. They were there, along with Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH, far left) and US Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville), for the announcement from Intel that the computer chip manufacturer would be building a facility in Licking County.

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 February that "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.
Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.