Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation will move forward after tie vote in Judiciary Committee

Written by on April 4, 2022

WASHINGTON – Decide Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic nomination to be the primary Black girl on the Supreme Court docket moved one step nearer Monday afternoon.

The 22-member Senate Judiciary Committee, which is evenly cut up between Democrats and Republicans, voted alongside get together traces for an 11-11 tie, quite than providing a “favorable” or “unfavorable” advice. 

Although the tie vote provides a procedural step, it will not cease Jackson’s nomination from shifting to the total Senate for consideration. Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., can set the schedule for a full chamber vote, the place Jackson is prone to be confirmed earlier than Congress leaves for Easter recess on the finish of the week. 

Final week, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced she would back Jackson, guaranteeing bipartisan help for the nomination. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who regularly breaks from his get together, said he would vote for the nominee

REPUBLICAN SUPPORT:GOP Sen. Susan Collins will vote for Ketanji Brown Jackson, bipartisan support for historic Supreme Court nominee

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Capitol Hill, March 8, 2022. Collins will vote to confirm Jackson, all but assuring that she will become the first Black woman on the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) ORG XMIT: DCCK134

KEY DEMOCRAT IN FAVOR:Manchin to vote for Ketanji Brown Jackson, probably ensuring she will be the first Black woman on Supreme Court

In consequence, Jackson is all however ensured to be confirmed.

The Senate is evenly cut up between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans. If a easy majority of 51 vote for her, Jackson is confirmed. If the Senate deadlocks at 50-50, Vice President Kamala Harris (appearing because the Senate president) would break the tie and supply Jackson with the deciding vote.

With Democrats and Collins backing the nomination, Jackson seems to have sufficient votes to be confirmed with out Harris’ assist.

Nonetheless, Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Unwell., cautioned that the battle to substantiate Jackson isn’t carried out till the ultimate vote takes place. 

“It ain’t over,’’ he mentioned final week. “Watch any basketball video games currently? What number of of them went right down to the final basket. That is what we’re going through.

“Issues past our management can change this consequence,” he mentioned. If a Democratic senator examined optimistic for the coronavirus, for instance, and was unable to vote, the affirmation may very well be pushed again. 

Monday’s committee vote was delayed by one such issue outdoors the Senate’s management: a passenger’s medical emergency on Democratic committee member Alex Padilla’s flight again to Washington from California Sunday evening.

Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., questions Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 22, 2022.

The flight was rotated, and Sen. Padilla was delayed getting again to Washington to vote till Monday afternoon. The committee broke for recess till he was in a position to make it in particular person to vote in Jackson’s favor. In a cut up committee and a cut up Senate, any outdoors circumstance might have an effect on the affirmation course of. 

“We’re dwelling in that world, a 50-50 world the place each vote could make the distinction as as to if or not she’s going to be confirmed,” Durbin mentioned. 

Republicans proceed to criticize Jackson

Republican committee members resurrected their assaults on Jackson earlier than the vote.

During the hearings, they pressed Jackson on her record sentencing defendants in child pornography cases and as a federal public defender representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the power in Cuba holding inmates accused of being enemy combatants within the warfare on terror. In at occasions acrimonious questioning, members pushed Jackson to elucidate her views of controversial political points resembling court-packing, vital race principle and transgender rights.

“Her report on crime is out of the mainstream, her report on crime is excessive,” mentioned Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Cruz, who went to highschool with Jackson, mentioned, “I’ve recognized Decide Jackson for 30 years, I’ve at all times preferred her personally.” Likewise, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., couched his assaults on Jackson with reward of her character.

“I can say definitively that I like her, she’s a very good particular person, however I can’t help her,” Hawley mentioned earlier than leveling assaults on her sentencing selections in youngster pornography instances. 

Others on the committee voiced concern about her judicial philosophy.

“A decide should name balls and strikes, and given what I’ve seen and her unwillingness to reveal her judicial philosophy and disavow an expansive view of unenumerated rights, I’ve considerations that Decide Jackson might be pinch hitting for one crew or the opposite. I’ll vote no,” mentioned Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one in all solely three Republicans who voted to substantiate Jackson to her place on the U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, mentioned the Supreme Court docket is completely different, and he reiterated that he wouldn’t vote for her nomination. 

“I will vote no, first time I’ve ever voted in opposition to any Supreme Court docket nominee,” Graham mentioned.

Democrats spotlight historic vote

Democrats used their time Monday to reiterate help for Jackson and underscore the historic nature of the vote. 

“It is the primary time the committee has had the chance to advance the nomination of a black girl to sit down on the Supreme Court docket. This can be a historic second for the committee, and for America,” Durbin mentioned. 

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., an in depth ally of President Biden, in contrast Jackson to Ruby Bridges, one of many first Black college students to combine a public faculty after the Supreme Court docket’s landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Schooling.

“So, too, I discovered that Decide Ketanji Brown Jackson performed herself in questioning right here together with her head held excessive, with a way of confidence in our structure, in our democracy and within the rule of legislation,” Coons mentioned.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., one in all solely three Black senators, quoted poet Maya Angelou throughout Monday’s session. Final month, Booker introduced Jackson to tears through the hearings with an emotional speech in regards to the significance of her nomination.

“It’s possible you’ll attempt to write me down in historical past together with your bitter, twisted lies, you might trod me within the very grime, however nonetheless like mud, I rise,” Booker mentioned Monday. “Rise, sister Jackson; rise, Decide Jackson, all the way in which to the very best court docket within the land.”

Supreme Court Associate Justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee during her confirmation hearing on March 22, 2022 in Washington.

Contributing: Deborah Berry

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