The Senate moves to a full vote on Jackson’s nomination as two other Republicans announce their support

washington — The Senate voted Monday to bring in judges Ketanji Brown Jackson‘s Supreme Court nomination for a final vote, clearing a procedural hurdle after the Judiciary Committee deadlocked earlier in the day putting forward her nomination.

Jackson, a Washington Circuit Court of Appeals judge, is likely to be narrowly confirmed full senate At the end of the week. Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine announced last week that she would do so supports Jackson’s nominationand Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska followed suit Monday, saying they would support Jackson.

Support from the three GOP senators ensures Jackson becomes the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

“Having reviewed Judge Jackson’s records and testimony, I have come to the conclusion that she is a highly qualified jurist and a person of honor,” Romney said. “While I don’t expect to agree with every decision she might make on the pitch, I believe she more than lives up to the standard of excellence and integrity.”

The motion to remove Jackson’s nomination from the committee passed the Senate by a vote of 53 to 47 after the Judiciary Committee split along party lines. Three Republicans, Collins, Murkowski and Romney, joined the Democrats.

Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson
US Supreme Court associate justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson exits a confirmation hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee March 23, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Julia Nikhinson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Let’s be clear: Despite Republican opposition, Justice Jackson has enough votes to be confirmed on the Supreme Court on a bipartisan basis,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday before the full Senate vote to pass the advance nomination. “The Senate will continue to work until it is confirmed.”

The Judiciary Committee’s 11:11 vote demonstrated the increasing partisan polarization that has plagued recent Supreme Court affirmations, with none of the Republican Judiciary Committee members voting for Jackson’s nomination, despite touting their credentials and qualifications. The party-line vote came after the panel sat paused for several hours while awaiting the arrival of Senator Alex Padilla, a Democrat from California, following flight problems.

“Instead of just another Justice Breyer, she will be the only true Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, and Justice Jackson will bring the highest level of skill, integrity, courtesy and grace to the Supreme Court,” said Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. said the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee in a remark opening the session.

Durbin said that as the judicial panel reviewed Jackson’s records and experience, it became clear that she had “impeccable qualifications.” He called voting on her nomination “nothing short of making history.”

Nonetheless, during remarks ahead of the committee’s vote, Republicans reiterated their criticism of Jackson’s pattern of lenient sentencing for child pornography offenders. Some GOP senators also criticized her refusal to name her legal philosophy, which Jackson described during her confirmation negotiations last month as a tiered methodology in approaching cases.

“We need trust that judges will interpret the law as it is written. Judge Jackson’s reinterpretation of the law, which I helped draft, does not give me that confidence,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the committee.

Meanwhile, Democrats praised Jackson both for her conduct during the grueling question-and-answer sessions that lasted nearly 24 hours and for her qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court. Many also noted the historic nature of her nomination and the barrier she is poised to break if approved by the entire Senate.

“What an affirmative signal it would send to the American people if we pulled away from the politics of the moment and united behind Justice Jackson. What a refreshing departure from the weary tribalism that has infected virtually every corner of our political system,” said Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat. “Judge Jackson has given me every reason to be hopeful not only for our court but also for our country.”

Senate Democrat leaders are aiming to confirm Jackson before the upper chamber leaves for a two-week break on Friday, and while it can only win approval with Democrat support, the White House has hoped Jackson would come with bipartisan support is confirmed.

Mr. Biden Jackson nominated Late February according to Judge Stephen Breyer has announced his resignation from the High Court at the end of his term this summer. With his election of Jackson, Mr. Biden fulfilled a promise he made during the 2020 presidential campaign to appoint the first black woman to the Supreme Court.

If confirmed, Jackson’s appointment will not change the ideological makeup of the court, which has a Conservative majority of 6-3. But at 51, she would be the second youngest member of the Supreme Court and could serve for decades. She will also diversify the experience represented on the High Court, having worked as Assistant Federal Defense Attorney – Jackson would be the first judge to hold such a role – and having served at the Federal Court in Washington, DC

Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the only current Supreme Court member to have served in a US district court.

The vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee, coupled with the Senate procedural vote, marks another hurdle in the confirmation process. In addition to appearing before the 22-member panel for two consecutive days, Jackson answered numerous written questions from the panel members.

While praising the senators on the committee for their treatment of Jackson during their confirmation hearings, Durbin berated some Republican members, saying they had directed “baseless attacks” on them, accusing them of “heinous things in front of their” family and “attacked” them. . motives.”

“Judge Jackson is a better man than me. She remained calm and collected, demonstrating dignity, grace and poise,” Durbin said. “If there is anything positive to take away from these attacks on her, it is that the nation has seen the temperament of a good, strong person who is willing to serve on the country’s highest court.”

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