Republicans and Democrats are at a standstill in the US Senate Judiciary Committee over whether to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court, but his historic nomination is still expected to be confirmed by the end of the week.
Jackson will be the first black woman to sit on the nation’s highest court, as Monday’s 11-11 committee vote cleared the way for Democrats to push her nomination to the final vote of the full Senate, where she won 51-50. are less. majority.
Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney said Monday they would vote to confirm Jackson, joining his aide Susan Collins, who last week became the first Republican to declare support for the Senate nomination.
Democrat Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said shortly before the committee action that he would “speed up” the process that would lead to a final Senate vote later this week to confirm Jackson.
If confirmed, Jackson would join the liberal faction in a courtroom with a 6-3 conservative majority.
Confirmation hearings two weeks ago highlighted sharp differences in views between Republicans and Democrats toward the Supreme Court and Senate confirmation process, which has become a partisan battlefield in recent years.
Democrats praised Jackson’s qualifications and record as a US Court of Appeals judge, while praising his history-making nomination. Republicans pursued hostile lines of inquiry and tried to portray Jackson as a dangerous liberal activist.
US President Joe Biden continued his support for Jackson on Monday, tweeting that “he deserves to be confirmed as the next justice.”
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, noted in his opening statement before the vote on Monday that the panel had previously voted to confirm Jackson three times in US positions.
Durbin called the attacks baseless by some Republicans.
“He repeatedly interrupted and vilified Judge Jackson and accused him of worthless things in front of her parents, her husband, and their children. There was table-pounding — some literal — from some of my colleagues. The judge reiterated the defamatory claims about Jackson’s character,” Durbin said.
Several Republican senators accused child pornography offenders of being liberal during his time as a federal trial court judge.
Judge Jackson would bring exceptional qualifications, profound experience and intelligence, and a rigorous judicial record to the Supreme Court.
He deserves to be confirmed as the next judge.
President Biden (@POTUS) 4 April 2022
Jackson, 51, defended his record, saying he did his “duty to hold the defendants accountable”.
Sentencing experts called the punishment imposed by Brown as mainstream among federal judges, while the American Bar Association rejected Republican claims that Jackson was “soft on the crime.”
Senator Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the committee, called Jackson “very charming and charming” but complained that more documents should have been released on his judicial record and took issue with the nominee on several matters.
“After carefully studying their records, unfortunately, I find that they and I have fundamentally different views on the roles of judges and the role they should play in our system of government. The reasons for those disagreements I cannot support his nomination,” Grassley said.
While the White House expected a bipartisan vote on the committee, Senator Lindsey Graham, a major Republicans helped overcome their impasse when they decided to vote against Jackson.
Graham, who voted to confirm Jackson in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2021, aired complaints about how Democrats treated past Republican Supreme Court candidates.
She accused Jackson of procrastination during her confirmation hearing and responded by indicating that she would be an active judge, adapting her decisions to her beliefs.
If confirmed, Jackson will replace retired Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer when he steps down at the end of the court’s current term.
While Jackson will not move the court’s 6-3 conservative majority, she is on the verge of making history as the third black justice and only the sixth woman in the court’s more than 200 years of existence.
The Judiciary Committee had not been deadlocked since 1991, when Biden was chairman and a motion to send the controversial nomination of current Justice Clarence Thomas to the full Senate with a “favourable” recommendation failed by a 7-7 vote.