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Ohio's Republican U.S. Senator says he'll oppose Jackson's nomination to Supreme Court

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U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH, third from left) sits next to U.S. Senator 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-Ohio, far left) and U.S. Representative Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville), for the announcement from Intel that the computer chip manufacturer would be building a facility in Licking County.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said "based on her responses to my questions, her record, and her answers at her confirmation hearing, I cannot support her nomination." But U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is a strong "yes."

Retiring U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) will stick with most of his party and oppose Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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

Portman wrote 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 U.S. Supreme Court, which has been criticized by Republicans and embraced by some Democrats.

As Portman wrote, based on those answers, he's concluded: "We simply have a different judicial philosophy."

Portman added, “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 U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) 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 Senate Judiciary Committee "who plan to run for president" for asking 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 met with Jackson on Tuesday.

Republican U.S. Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah said they will break from the GOP and vote to confirm Jackson later this week.

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