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Legal Update Article

Senate Judiciary Committee Tied on Advancing Supreme Court Nominee Jackson

As expected, the Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked along party lines in voting to advance Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court to the full Senate for consideration.

After hearings and deliberation among the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the next step in the process was for the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote. The Committee, which is comprised of 22 members, an equal number from each party, could have voted to recommend confirmation, to reject the candidate, or to make no recommendation.

On April 4, 2022, the Judiciary Committee voted 11-11, with all Democratic members recommending confirmation and all Republican members opposing. The full Senate then voted 53-47 to discharge the nomination from committee and place it on the Senate calendar for a final vote.

All Democratic Senators and three Republican Senators voted to advance Judge Jackson’s nomination to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. The three Republicans who announced their intent to vote in favor of Judge Jackson’s confirmation are Senators Susan Collins (R-Me.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Mitt Romney (R-Utah). All three Senators cited Judge Jackson’s qualifications, independence, demeanor, temperament, and perspective as reasons for their favorable vote.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) previously supported Judge Jackson’s confirmation to the D.C. Circuit Court. Senator Graham praised Judge Jackson, calling her accomplished, a good person, a great mother, and gifted. He then went on to vote against advancing her nomination to the Supreme Court. Similarly, Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) was considered one of the few Republicans who would cross the aisle to support Judge Jackson. Despite acknowledging Judge Jackson’s confirmation as a “high point for the country” that he was hoping to be a part of, Senator Blunt announced his intent to vote against her confirmation.

After additional debate, the Senate is expected to vote on Judge Jackson’s nomination soon, before leaving for a two-week break beginning April 9. Despite the lack of widespread Republican support, Judge Jackson is expected to be confirmed.

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