Senate Judiciary Committee sets vote on Ketanji Brown Jackson's historic nomination

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday announced its plans to meet for a vote on Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination by President Biden to the U.S. Supreme Court, moving the 51-year-old judge another step closer to becoming the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court.

“This is one of the most qualified nominees ever nominated for the Supreme Court in every respect, in terms of her disposition, her intellectual capacity, her experience and background,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Monday. “A woman who is totally, thoroughly qualified. Totally, thoroughly qualified, and will be a great addition to the court.”

The committee's chairman, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the panel will reconvene on April 4 at 10 a.m. ET for a vote that will advance Jackson’s nomination to the full floor.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said he hopes to hold a final confirmation vote before the Senate’s expected Easter recess, which begins on April 8.

Ketanji Brown Jackson with a wide smile.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Monday. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters) (Elizabeth Frantz / reuters)

Jackson was confirmed to her current seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last summer by the Senate in a 53-44 vote, with Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina voting in her favor.

It seems unlikely that Graham will vote for Jackson again, given his repeated attacks on her during last week’s confirmation hearings. Both Collins and Murkowski, political moderates who are not members of the Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday that they were still evaluating the nominee.

There is no need for any Republicans to vote for Jackson if she is to be confirmed. With the Senate evenly split, Vice President Kamala Harris — the nation’s first Black and first woman vice president — would cast the tiebreaking vote if the Democrats are united on the appointment.

A recent Gallup poll found that 58% of Americans say the Senate should vote in favor of Jackson as a Supreme Court justice. Only current Chief Justice John Roberts, at 59% in 2005, had a higher level of support as a nominee, Gallup said.

The new poll found that 88% of Democrats, 55% of independents and 31% of Republicans say the Senate should vote to confirm Jackson. A majority of Republicans — 55% — are opposed to her candidacy.