Senate set to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court in historic vote

Washington — The Senate is voting to ratify Thursday Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson In the Supreme Court, on the verge of making history as the first black woman to serve on the nation’s Supreme Court with President Biden’s nominee.

Jackson received a boost on his way to confirmation this week when Republican censors Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska announced they would support his nomination, but all but assured that he would win approval from the Senate. The two Republicans, along with Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, are expected to be the only GOP senators to join with all members of the Democratic caucus in voting in favor of Jackson’s nomination.

The Senate approved a procedural hurdle early Thursday afternoon, voting 53-47 to move on to the final vote, which began shortly before 2 p.m., with Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman and the first to hold the role. woman, presided over the Senate. Vote, announced his office.

“It will be a joyous day: joy for the Senate, joy for the court, joy for America,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor on Thursday, noting that “America is to our union today.” is taking a big step towards making more. perfect.”

“People sometimes talk about standing on the shoulders of giants,” he continued. “Well, Judge Jackson will go down in history as an American veteran on whose shoulders others will stand, and our democracy will be better for it.”

Jackson’s expected confirmation in the High Court is likely to be an important component of Biden’s legacy and is his first time to make his mark on the Supreme Court. She will not take the bench immediately after her possible approval, however, as Justice Stephen Breyer, whose seat she will fill, is prepared. to retire At the end of the court’s term this summer.

Confirmation Hearing in Senate for Ketanji Brown Jackson to Become Supreme Court Justice
Supreme Court nominee Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, on Capitol Hill.

Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images


Acceptance of Jackson’s nomination by an equally divided Senate would be maximum verification process It was marked by efforts by Republicans to portray him as a soft-on-crime activist judge who would legislate from the bench.

Her criticisms, which were rooted in Jackson’s record of convictions in child pornography cases while she was a federal trial court judge, thwarted efforts by White House and Democratic Senate leaders to end bipartisan support for Jackson’s nomination. failed to pierce the recent partisan polarization, confirming the Supreme Court. But the allegations provided fodder to Republicans because they own position as a law-and-order party before the November midterm elections.

Democrats were aiming to confirm Jackson before senators left town on Friday for a two-week recess, and Senate leaders moved swiftly to begin the confirmation process after Biden, the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Jackson announced as his choice for the Supreme Court in late February. With Jackson’s election as president, she became the first black woman to be nominated to the High Court.

During confirmation hearings that lasted four days in March, Jackson endured nearly 24 hours of questioning from 22 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, after which the panel stymied on approving his nomination along party lines on Monday.

Tie 11-11 votes in Judiciary Committee forced a procedural vote to the full Senate to advance Jackson’s nomination. While the upper house voted to move Jackson’s nomination from the committee, three Republicans joined the Democrats in the vote, an effort that underscores how bitterly partisan the recent confirmation fights have become over his appointment. Closely-integrated GOP protests.

Before the vote, Murkowski announced his support for Jackson, saying in a statement that his decision “relyed on a rejection of the corrosive politicization of the review process for Supreme Court candidates, which is getting worse on both sides of the aisle.” And by the year more different from reality.”

Jackson will join the Supreme Court after serving for nearly a year on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, considered the second most powerful court in the country. In his first term on the High Court, Jackson would hear a Couple of cases related to admission policies at Harvard College and the University of North Carolina, as well redistribution And religious freedom Controversy Jackson resolved to isolate myself From the Harvard legal battle, as she is a member of the school’s board of overseers, one of its two governing bodies.

While his appointment will not change the ideological structure of the Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, Jackson will be the second-youngest justice at age 51, possibly ensuring decades of service. Her appointment also marks the first time two African Americans will sit on the Supreme Court together and the first time four women will serve simultaneously on a high court.

Jackson also brings professional diversity to the bench, serving as an assistant public defender and on the federal trial court in Washington. There has never been a Supreme Court justice serving as a public defender, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the only current member of the court to have served on a US district court. She was also a member of the US Sentencing Commission and worked in private practice after graduating from Harvard and Harvard Law School.

During his confirmation hearing, Jackson demonstrated the arc of the nation’s history through the story of his life and the story of his parents—from his mother and father attending separate schools in Florida to the nation’s first Until she’s ready to be a black woman. Supreme Court “in a generation.” Commenting on his legal career, he promised to be An independent jurist who looks at matters from a neutral position.

“I adjudicate cases with a neutral posture. I evaluate the facts and, in accordance with my judicial oath, interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me without fear or favor,” she said at her confirmation hearing. I told the senators. “I know that my role as a judge is limited, that the Constitution entitles me to decide only those cases and disputes that are properly presented, and that I know that my judicial role is to follow the example carefully. is interrupted.”

However, those assurances did little to persuade most Republican senators.

Many took issue with Jackson’s refusal to label her judicial philosophy, which she described as a multi-step method, and her reluctance to take a stance on adding seats on the Supreme Court, even though they considered her legal merit. accepted. Jackson’s most frequent criticism, however, focused on the punishment of offenders in child pornography cases, which GOP senators claimed were below federal guidelines.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday: “Judge Jackson’s nomination began incorrectly because President Biden promised he would nominate only one judicial worker.” “I hope maybe the judge’s record and testimony will convince us otherwise, maybe she will convince the Senate that it understands the proper judicial role. Unfortunately, what happened was the exact opposite.”

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in remarks Monday that had Republicans controlled the Senate, Jackson would not have received a confirmation hearing. He also predicted that if the GOP secured a majority in the upper house, judicial candidates put up by Democrats would be rejected if they were deemed too liberal.

“We should be like trained seals here, clapping when you appoint liberals,” Graham said. “It will not work.”

The South Carolina senator was one of three Republicans, along with Collins and Murkowski, to support Jackson’s nomination on the DC circuit, but he intends to vote against confirming him to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Democrats called for a complete confirmation process to highlight the historical nature of Jackson’s nomination and the final approval by the Senate.

“Judge Jackson has given me every reason to be hopeful, not only for our court, but for the country,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, said Monday. “Judge Jackson being nominated now has already helped our country move forward.”

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