The U.S. Senate will convene this afternoon to vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. On Monday, the Judiciary Committee vote ended in a 11 to 11 tie, but passed to the Senate floor following a procedural vote. Today, she is expected to receive enough votes to become the first Black woman on the nation’s highest court.
Three Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah are expected to cross the political aisle and vote with their Democratic colleagues to confirm Judge Brown Jackson.
In a statement, Murkowski said, “My support rests on Judge Jackson’s qualifications, which no one questions…” She added, “It also rests on my rejection of the corrosive politicization of the review process for Supreme Court nominees, which, on both sides of the aisle, is growing worse and more detached from reality by the year.”
As with previous SCOTUS nominees, this confirmation process was filled with tension and politicization.
In the past week, for instance, several GOP legislators made controversial comments.
“You are either a Senator that supports child rapists, child pornography, and the most vile child predators…Or you are a Senator who protects children and votes NO to KJB!”
Additionally, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, whose speech and questioning went viral during the confirmation hearings, said that “If we were in charge, she would not have been before this committee.” Graham previously voted to confirm her to the current position she holds in the U.S. Court of Appeals seat in the nation’s capital.
Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton was criticized for comments about Jackson’s past as a public defender. He claimed she would have defended Nazis during the Nuremberg Trials.
Those comments prompted a fiery response from Democratic National Committee chair Jamie Harrison, who said on Thursday’s MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program that Senator Cotton was the “lowest of the low” and a “ maggot-infested little man.”
Senator Dick Durbin, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also commented. He said: “You can disagree with a senator’s vote, you can disagree with a judge’s rulings, but to draw conclusions that really reflect on them personally and their values and take it to an extreme is unfair, whether the nominee is a Democrat or a Republican.”
If confirmed, Jackson would be the first Supreme Court Justice to have experience as a public defender and the first since Justice Thurgood Marshall with experience in criminal defense, according to the Constitutional Center.
A Senate vote is expected in the early afternoon.