Monday, April 04, 2022

Ketanji Brown Jackson Nomination to Supreme Court Clears Senate Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Monday to send Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the full Senate, moving her one step closer to becoming the first Black woman and first former public defender on the nation’s highest court.

The panel advanced Jackson’s nomination on a 11-11 vote, with every Republican voting no. Those GOP members are Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah), Ted Cruz (Texas), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), John Kennedy (La.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.).

The tie vote meant Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) had to later force her nomination out of the committee via a procedural step known as a discharge petition. Schumer teed up that vote Monday night; the motion to discharge Jackson from the committee passed, 53-47.

“This procedural step should be entirely unnecessary,” Schumer said on the Senate floor just before the vote. “There is no question — no question — that Judge Jackson deserves a strong bipartisan vote in committee. But sadly, despite the judge’s qualifications, not a single Republican on the committee voted to report her out of committee.”

He added, “The end result will remain unchanged: Judge Jackson ultimately has enough support to get confirmed on a bipartisan basis, and the Senate is going to keep working until this nomination is complete.”

Three Republicans voted with Democrats to release Jackson’s nomination from the committee: Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mitt Romney (Utah). They are the only GOP senators who have said they will vote to confirm Jackson.

The Senate has a couple more procedural steps to clear this week, but Jackson is on track to be confirmed late Thursday.


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