Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rand Paul (R-KY) were called out by name on Saturday by CNN's Chris Cillizza for their juvenile antics on Thursday as the Senate went about the business of voting to put Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on the Supreme Court once Justice Stephen Breyer steps down.
With only three Senate Republicans -- Susan Collins (ME), Mitt Romney (UT) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) -- breaking ranks to vote with Democrats to finally place a Black woman on the nation's highest court, the CNN analyst pointed out that the lock-step Republicans didn't cover themselves in glory as they filed out after the historic vote while Democrat applauded.
However, it was Graham and Paul's actions before the vote that drew Cillizza's ire.
"South Carolina’s Graham and Kentucky’s Paul voted against Jackson, which was not surprising. But it was the way they did it that’s worth calling out," the CNN analyst wrote before reporting, "Neither senator was allowed to vote on the Senate floor because they were not wearing ties, as noted by CNN’s Ali Zaslav and Ted Barrett. Graham arrived to the vote wearing a quarter-zip and a blazer, even though video from a press conference Graham participated in on Thursday shows that he was wearing a tie earlier in the day. He voted 'no' from the Senate cloakroom, which essentially amounts to a members’ lounge off of the floor."
Writing that "Paul delayed the final vote for nearly a half-hour before casting his 'no' vote from the Senate cloakroom wearing casual clothes," Cilizza added, "He didn’t respond to a question from Barrett Thursday as to why he was late," with Cillizza pointing out that, for important votes, senators traditionally vote from their desks.
"This is not normal,' the CNN analyst wrote. "And it follows a confirmation process in which Republicans sought to raise questions about Jackson’s record on cases involving child pornography."
"Look," he continued. "It’s absolutely fair game for Graham and Paul to oppose Jackson based on their own beliefs and their understanding of her views. But to not even make it to the Senate floor to cast what everyone agrees is a historic vote? It’s a bad look."
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