Republicans ‘Stormed Out in Anger’ After Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmation

On April 12 2022, prolific Imgur user Lanhdanan shared a screenshot of a tweet by Brian Tyler Cohen, asserting that Republicans “stormed out in anger” after Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to the United States Supreme Court earlier that month:

Cohen’s tweet read:

Fact Check

Claim: "As Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed, the Democratic side of the aisle just erupted into a boisterous standing ovation while Republicans walk out."

Description: The claim states that Republicans ‘stormed out in anger’ following the confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court.

Rating: True

Rating Explanation: The claim is subjective and based on interpretation. Video and news reporting indicated that Republicans largely did not stick around for the applause following Jackson’s confirmation, but whether they ‘stormed out in anger’ is up for interpretation.

Republican senators and staffers stormed out in anger as the first Black woman was confirmed to the highest court in America. Don’t ever forget what we all just saw.

Not long before tweeting that, Cohen tweeted:

Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic confirmation was a major news story in early April 2022, occluding details about events that took place during and after the hearing. CNN shared two videos to about the immediate aftermath of Jackson’s confirmation, one from April 8 2022 with the following title and description:

‘Rude’: Analyst slams some Republicans’ move after Brown Jackson vote

CNN’s Laura Coates and Gloria Borger said many Senate Republicans were not showing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson proper respect when most of them silently left the Senate chamber during a standing ovation after she was confirmed as the first Black female Supreme Court Justice.

Another clip, also published on April 8 2022, referenced Republican Senator Mitt Romney’s applause and vaguely supported Cohen’s assertion:

Only one GOP senator stayed to applaud after Jackson was confirmed

CNN’s Manu Raju and Gloria Borger discuss how Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) was the only Republican to stand to applaud after Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation vote.

An article published by CNN on that date reported:

A number of Republican senators also walked out of the chamber after the final vote — amid a standing ovation for the historic nature of the moment.

This is not normal.

UK site published “Republicans walk out of Senate chamber after Jackson confirmed as Supreme Court judge,” softening the claim of the headline in the text of the item:

The Senate voted 53-47 to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the 116th justice and the first Black woman on the US Supreme Court— and some Republicans looked furious.

Three Republican senators — Mitt Romney (Utah), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) — joined all the 48 Democrats and two independents in voting to confirm Jackson to the highest US court.

Despite the joy of this historic moment, some Republicans stormed out of the chamber.

An April 7 2022 New York Times article also referenced Republicans in the moments after the vote, reporting:

Not everyone shared in the joy of the day. As applause echoed from the marbled walls, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, turned his back and slowly walked out, as did most of the few Republicans remaining on the floor, leaving half of the chamber empty as the other half celebrated in a stark reflection of the partisan divide.

“When it came to one of the most consequential decisions a president can make, a lifetime appointment to our highest court, the Biden administration let the radicals run the show,” Mr. McConnell had said earlier, making one last argument against Judge Jackson, whose nomination he framed as an example of extremists taking control of the Democratic Party. “The far left got the reckless inflationary spending they wanted. The far left has gotten the insecure border they wanted. And today, the far left will get the Supreme Court justice they wanted.”

Three Republicans — Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah — crossed party lines to vote to confirm Judge Jackson, lending a modicum of bipartisanship to an otherwise bitterly polarized process.

One commenter linked to a video, which had originally been tweeted by ABC News on April 7 2022. In it, one side of the chamber is seen giving a standing ovation, while the other side is nearly empty:

On April 12 2022, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show published a video titled “Republicans Walk Out as Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed to Supreme Court” to YouTube. In the clip, Sen. Romney was seen “clapping alone” as other Republicans exited the chamber.

An Imgur post on April 12 2022 featured an April 7 2022 tweet by Cohen, in which he claimed that “Republican senators and staffers stormed out in anger as the first Black woman was confirmed to the highest court in America.” Coverage of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation (both video and print) included mentions of the partisan divide in votes. Additionally, Romney’s decision to stand alone and applaud the vote was described in coverage and highlighted in video. Whether Republican senators “stormed out” was something of a subjective claim, but video and news reporting indicated that Republicans largely did not stick around for the applause following Brown Jackson’s confirmation.