Ketanji Brown Jackson is a step closer to becoming the first Black woman confirmed to the Supreme Court.
Jackson’s nomination advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week, where it had deadlocked in an 11 to 11 vote along party lines, with Democrats approving her nomination against Republican opposition. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called a special vote of the Senate to advance Jackson’s nomination out of the committee, with Republican senators Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Mitt Romney (UT) voting with Democrats to advance the nomination.
A confirmation vote in the Senate is expected sometime this week.
Jackson was nominated by President Biden to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court earlier this year. If confirmed, she would be the first Black woman to serve on the country’s highest court.
Jackson’s three-day confirmation process began in the Senate at the end of March, with a day of opening statements followed by two days of questions from senators. Although Democrats and Republicans spoke highly of Jackson’s record prior to her hearing, Republicans have remained mostly united in their opposition to her nomination – a sign that the nomination process is becoming more entrenched along party lines.
However, despite this nearly unified Republican opposition, Collins, Murkowski, and Romney have broken with party lines and said they will approve Jackson’s nomination.
Some Democrats have criticized Republican opposition to Jackson, saying that it’s yet another obstacle for her, as a Black woman, to overcome. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) called the tone of the opposition in her hearings “disrespectful,” CNN reports, and an example of the “absurdities of disrespect” that many people of color, specifically women, have to endure.