Mary Claire Jalonik

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats on Monday begin a whirlwind of votes and action in the Senate to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first black woman in the Supreme Court by the end of the week.

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins Monday morning with a vote to move Jackson’s candidacy to the Senate. Democrats will then pass the nomination through the Senate 50 to 50, and a final vote is expected for President Joe Biden to replace Judge Stephen Breer, who is resigning.

After more than 30 hours of hearings and interrogations by Republicans over her track record, Jackson is on the verge of going down in history as the third black judge and only the sixth woman in the court’s more than 200-year history. Democrats – and at least one Republican – cite her extensive experience of nine years in the federal bench and her chance to become the first former public defender in court.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin, Illinois, said Thursday that high respect for Jackson after the four-day hearing is “a testament to the strength she brings to the nomination and the values ​​it will bring to the Supreme Court.”

The committee may come to a standstill in a vote Monday, 11-11, which means Democrats will have to spend extra hours in the Senate to “exclude” her candidacy from the committee. While this will not delay the process for long, it is another blow to Democrats who hoped to confirm Jackson with the support of the two parties.

A stalemate would be a “really bad signal” to further disrupt our confirmation process, “said Delaware Sen. Chris Koons, a Democrat on the committee.

The committee has not been stunned by the nomination since 1991, when the proposal to nominate the current judge Clarence Thomas with a “favorable” recommendation failed by 7-7 votes. The committee then voted to nominate the candidate without a recommendation, meaning it could still be put to a vote.

Either way, Democrats are willing to spend time on Monday afternoon discharge if needed. The Senate will then move on to a series of procedural steps before the final vote on the approval later in the week.

While none of the Republicans on the committee are expected to support Jackson, Democrats will have at least one vote from the Republican Party in favor – Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who last week said she would support the candidate. Collins said that although she does not always agree with her, Jackson “has the experience, qualifications and honesty to serve as an assistant judge at the Supreme Court.”

It is unclear whether other Republicans will join. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky set the tone for the party last week when he said he “cannot and will not” support it, citing Republican concerns expressed at its sentencing hearings and its support for liberal propaganda. groups.

Collins and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina were the only three to vote for Jackson when the Senate approved her as a judge of the Court of Appeals last year. Graham said Thursday he would not support her this time; Murkowski says she is still deciding.

Collins ‘support is likely to save Democrats from using Vice President Kamala Harris’ vote to confirm President Joe Biden’s election, and Biden called Collins on Wednesday to thank her after her announcement, the senator’s office said. The president called her at least three times before the hearing, which was part of a bigger push to win a bipartisan vote for his historic candidate.

All 50 Democrats are expected to support Jackson, although one of the prominent moderate Democrats, Arizona Sen. Kirsten Cinema, has not yet said how she will vote.

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