Politics Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson faces tied committee vote, but still moves closer to her historic confirmation
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- The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-11 on Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court nomination.
- The move forces Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to invoke special procedures to advance Jackson's nomination.
- The so-called discharge vote is expected to happen on Monday afternoon.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Monday moved one step closer to becoming the first ever Black woman on the Supreme Court, despite facing a tied vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The panel split 11-11 on Jackson's nomination, with all Democrats in support and all Republicans against. The move presents a deadlock, and forces Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to invoke special procedures to advance Jackson's nomination.
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Later Monday afternoon, the top Democrat will file what's called a "motion to discharge" the committee from Jackson's nomination. That discharge vote only requires a simple majority, and given the Senate's 50-50 split with Democrats in control, they will be able to push Jackson's nomination forward. After that vote, Jackson remains on track for a final confirmation vote before the full Senate, which will likely take place later this week.
Still, the tied vote represents how partisan the Supreme Court confirmation process has become in recent years. The committee was widely anticipated to deadlock after several Republicans on the paneltheir opposition to Jackson. Those GOP members, including Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Josh Hawley of Missouri, aggressively questioned Jackson last month, appearing likely to vote against her.
Marsha Blackburn asked Ketanji Brown Jackson to define 'woman.' Science says there's no simple answer.
When Marsha Blackburn asked Ketanji Brown Jackson to define "woman," she wanted a simple answer. Scientists and gender scholars say it doesn't exist.Jackson, appearing confused, responded, "I’m not a biologist.
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson
California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger
US District Judge J. Michelle Childs of South Carolina.
Yet GOP opposition will not tank Jackson's nomination. The 51-year-old judge is expected to be confirmed with full Democratic support and the backing of at least one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, whoSenate Democrats and the White House have been vying to peel off some GOP votes for a bipartisan confirmation.
Last year, Collins supported Jackson's confirmation to her current seat on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, as did two other Republicans: Graham and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
This time around, Graham opposed Jackson's nomination because of what he described as her record of "judicial activism" and a "lack of a steady judicial philosophy." Murkowski has not yet announced how she will vote, but Monday's discharge vote could preview how she intends to.
Most Republicans have already said they will vote against Jackson. Though another possible swing vote for Jackson is Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah,
Monday's committee vote comes after Jackson met individually with senators for weeks and faced roughly 22 hours of questioning during, which at times grew contentious. Republicans grilled Jackson on her sentencing record and her judicial philosophy, while Democrats touted her extensive legal experience, her endorsements from both sides of the political aisle, and her history-making moment as the first Black woman nominated for the nation's highest court.
Jackson expressed gratitude for the nomination and pledged that if confirmed, she will "support and defend the Constitution and this grand experiment of American democracy that has endured over these past 246 years."
"I decide cases from a neutral posture. I evaluate the facts. And I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me without fear or favor consistent with my judicial oath," Jackson said in her opening statement.
Jackson's speech highlights US race struggles, progress .
“In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.” With those words, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson acknowledged both the struggles and progress of Black Americans in her lifetime. Her words, delivered from the South Lawn of the White House on Friday, one day after her historic Senate confirmation, were a tribute to generations of Black Americans who she said paved the way for her elevation to the nation’s highest court.