Updated: Apr 6
Judge Ketanji Jackson looks to be the first black woman to serve in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Brian Gornick - Staff Writer - News
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination is slated to be voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, paving the way for her to become the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court.
President Biden officially announced on February 22nd that he would nominate Judge Jackson to fill the vacant position on the Supreme Court. The position was left by Judge Stephen Breyer, who retired on January 27th.
A month after Judge Jackson was nominated, the official process of confirming her as the next Supreme Court Justice began with the first confirmation hearings in Washington D.C.
Beginning on March 20th, there were four days of confirmation hearings held by the Senate Judiciary Committee. During these hearings, Republican members of the committee grilled Judge Jackson over her stances on issues such as critical race theory, defunding police departments, and allegations of Judge Jackson being soft on crime.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz was one of the more vocal members of the GOP, specifically questioning Judge Jackson on her positions regarding the 1619 Project as well as her allegedly giving lenient sentences in child pornography cases.
Judge Jackson had a lengthy judicial career before being nominated for the Supreme Court.
She was nominated by President Obama in 2011 to be a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, being confirmed in 2013.
Judge Jackson served in that position until 2021, when she was confirmed to the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit after being nominated by President Biden earlier that year.
The Senate Judiciary Committee vote is expected to end in a tie. However, Senate tradition has allowed past Supreme Court nominees such as Clarence Thomas to have their confirmation sent to the Senate for a vote, even if they didn’t receive a majority of the votes.
If the Senate Judiciary Committee follows Senate tradition, Democrats are hoping that a vote can be held for Judge Jackson in the Senate by as early as next week.
The Senate is scheduled to go into recess from April 11th to April 22nd, making time of the essence to Democrats.
All Senate Democrats are expected to vote to confirm Jackson, and even one Republican senator has voiced her support for Judge Jackson. Senator Susan Collins of Maine announced March 30th that she would vote to confirm Judge Jackson, securing her at least one GOP vote.
Senator Collins in her statement on Judge Jackson declared, “I have concluded that she possesses the experience, qualifications, and integrity to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court.”
In the event that no Republican Senators vote for Judge Jackson, she could still be confirmed through a tie as Vice President Harris holds the tie-breaker and the Vice President is essentially guaranteed to vote for Judge Jackson.
If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will become the first Black woman to serve as a Justice on the Supreme Court, capping another milestone in our nation’s history.
Sources: whitehouse.gov, senate.gov, collins.senate.gov