The nearly unbroken wall of Republican opposition to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was weakened slightly on Monday when two more Senate Republicans announced that they would join Democrats in supporting her confirmation to the Supreme Court, paving the way for her confirmation as the nation’s first Black woman on the court.
Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have joined a third Republican, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, in expressing support for Judge Jackson, bucking widespread opposition to the candidacy among their own party members. The Republican Party’s hostility to the nominee was highlighted once again on Monday when all 11 Republicans on the Judiciary Committee voted against it.
The Democrats responded by using an extraordinary method to drive the nominee out of the deadlocked committee and into the hands of the entire Senate, which approved the motion by a vote of 53 to 47.
President Biden received at least a modicum of the bipartisan support he had hoped for ahead of a confirmation vote that might take place as early as Thursday, thanks to the support of the three Republicans. Furthermore, it served as a counterpoint to the bitterly partisan debate over Judge Jackson, in which Republicans on the judiciary panel attacked her as a liberal partisan with a questionable record, glossing over her qualifications and experience in hearings that included the airing of conservative grievances, accusations of leniency toward child sexual abusers, and divisive questions, such as how she would define the term “woman.”
Following another tense day in the Judiciary Committee, during which Republicans spent hours forcefully repeating their objections to her elevation, they voiced their support for her nomination. The National Association of Republican Senators (N.A.A.C.P.) labelled the resultant impasse in the committee a “stain” on the committee, and Democrats proceeded immediately to bring the nominee to the floor of the Senate for a vote by the entire Senate.
Republicans rehashed the main attack lines against the judge that dominated a combative set of confirmation hearings last month, accusing her of being a progressive activist who was soft on crime, while Democrats praised her qualifications and demeanour and said Mr. Biden’s nominee deserved to be confirmed, during a Judiciary Committee meeting on Monday.
The vote served as a reminder of how severely divided the Senate has become over confirming Supreme Court candidates, which was formerly considered as a simple matter of permitting the president to nominate his or her preferred choice to serve on the court by members of both parties.
Republicans have continued to cast doubt on Judge Jackson’s integrity, noting her refusal to describe her philosophical approach in answer to repeated requests. Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, said the statement demonstrated a lack of sincerity.
Democrats said that the Republican attack on Judge Jackson was motivated as much by the upcoming midterm elections as it was by Judge Jackson herself.
Despite the fact that some Republican members of the committee considered skipping the committee vote to construct a procedural hurdle against Judge Jackson at one point, they swiftly abandoned the idea. Nevertheless, none of them would support a motion to remove the nominee from committee in order to expedite her consideration on the floor.
Despite the fact that Republicans on the panel unanimously said that they would vote against her, several of them expressed their admiration for her personally and professionally.
On Monday, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican who said that Judge Jackson would be the most radical leftist ever to sit on the Supreme Court, praised her for being “charming and talented.”
Despite the fact that the Republican opposition was disheartening, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said that it was unsurprising. She said that the tremendous reaction to Judge Jackson demonstrated that the people was not convinced by Republican assaults on the judge.