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Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination ties in Senate committee vote but remains on track

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday deadlocked over Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court, but she is expected to get confirmed by the full Senate in a close vote later this week.

All 11 of the panel’s Democratic members supported her and all 11 Republicans opposed her.

But the nomination of Jackson still should proceed to the full Senate for a vote, because, following a deadlock for a committee, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, can file what’s known as a discharge petition to get her nomination on the calendar.

There would just be a delay due to four hours of debate.

Jackson is on course to become the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

As the committee’s meeting kicked off on Monday morning, Chairman Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, noted the groundbreaking development.

“It’s the first time that the committee has had the opportunity to advance the nomination of a black woman to sit on the Supreme Court. This is an historic moment for the committee and for America,” Durbin said.

The chairman also criticized Republican members who went after Jackson during her confirmation hearing, including for their assertions that she has given lenient sentences in child-pornography cases.

“If there is one positive to take away from these attacks on her, it is that the nation saw the temperament of a good, strong person ready to serve on the highest court of the land,” he said.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the committee’s top Republican, offered some praise for Jackson, but said he wouldn’t be voting for her.

“Having carefully studied her record, unfortunately, I think she and I have fundamental, different views on the role of judges and the role that they should play in our system of government. Because of those disagreements, I can’t support her nomination,” Grassley said.

Sen Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, invoked the “Seinfeld” holiday Festivus in criticizing Republicans’ questioning of Jackson.

“There’s been a lot of airing of grievances,” Booker said.

All 50 Senate Democrats are expected to back President Joe Biden’s pick in a floor vote later this week. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine last week became the first GOP senator to say she plans to back Jackson, so Democrats won’t need Vice President Kamala Harris to break a tie in the 50-50 chamber.

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