The Senate Judiciary Committee begins a vote Monday morning on whether to move Jackson’s nomination to the Senate. Democrats will then lead the nomination through the 50-50 Senate, with a final vote in sight to elect President Joe Biden to replace retired Justice Stephen Breyer.
After more than 30 hours of hearings and Republican questioning over her case, Jackson is poised to make history as the third black judge and only the sixth woman in the court’s more than 200-year history. Democrats — and at least one Republican — are touting her vast experience in her nine years at the Federal Bank and the chance for her to become the first former public defender in court.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin said Thursday that the high regard for Jackson after four struggling days of hearings “is a testament to the strength she brings to this nomination and the value she brings to the Supreme Court.” will”.
The Judiciary Panel could be stuck voting Monday, 11-11, meaning Democrats will have to spend extra hours in the Senate to “unload” their nomination from committee. While it won’t delay the process for long, it’s another blow to Democrats who had hoped to confirm Jackson with bipartisan support.
A deadlock would be “a really unfortunate signal of the ongoing descent into dysfunction in our confirmation process,” said Delaware Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat on the Judiciary Panel.
The committee has not been stuck on a nomination since 1991, when a motion to floor Judge Clarence Thomas’ nomination with a “favorable” recommendation failed by a vote of 7 to 7. The committee then voted to submit the nomination to the memorandum without recommendation, meaning it could still be put to a vote.
In any case, Democrats are willing to devote time to Monday afternoon’s dismissal if necessary. The Senate would then move on to a series of procedural steps before a final confirmation vote later in the week.
While none of the Republicans on the Judiciary Panel are expected to endorse Jackson, Democrats will have at least one GOP vote on the floor — Maine Senator Susan Collins, who announced last week that she will endorse the nominee. Collins said while she may not always agree with her, Jackson “has the experience, qualifications and integrity to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court.”
It is not yet clear whether other Republicans will follow her. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell set the tone for the party last week when he said he could not and will not support them, citing the GOP’s concerns raised in the hearing about their conviction record and support from Liberals interest groups have been expressed.
Collins and Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina were the only three to vote for Jackson when the Senate confirmed her as a Circuit Court Judge last year. Graham said Thursday he would not support her this time; Murkowski says she’s still deciding.
Collins’ endorsement likely spares Democrats from having to use Vice President Kamala Harris’ groundbreaking vote to confirm President Joe Biden’s election, and Biden called Collins Wednesday to thank her after her announcement, the bureau said of the senator. The President had called her at least three times before the hearings, part of a larger push to win a bipartisan vote for his historic nominee.
All 50 Democrats are expected to support Jackson, though one notable moderate Democrat, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, has yet to say how she will vote.
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