Senate panel to hold Supreme Court vote April 4

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) gives an opening statement during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on Monday, March 21, 2022.
Anna Rose Layden

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination on April 4.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the chairman of the committee, announced as he was wrapping up the second day of questions that Jackson’s nomination will be on the committee’s agenda for the first time on Monday.

But under the committee’s rules, any senator can request that a nomination be held over for a week. Jackson’s nomination, like most that come before the panel, is expected to be delayed by a week. 

That would make the committee’s actual vote on April 4. 

Durbin confirmed the timeline during a press conference with reporters after the hearing wrapped on Wednesday.

Jackson is likely to face a tied vote in the committee, which is evenly divided 11-11 between Democrats and Republicans. 

Two GOP senators — Sens. John Cornyn (Texas) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) — previously voted to advance Jackson’s appeals court nomination in the Judiciary Committee last year. 

But Cornyn voted against her appeals nomination on the floor last year. He said on Wednesday that he would not split his vote in a similar way for the Supreme Court spot. Cornyn hasn’t said how he will vote but is expected to oppose her, like most GOP senators.

Graham is also increasingly viewed to be a “no” vote and criticized Jackson on Wednesday over her handling of child pornography cases and an immigration ruling.

But unified GOP opposition at the committee level wouldn’t sink her nomination. 

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) could still bring her up for a floor vote, but it would take extra procedural steps. Democrats can confirm her on the floor as long as all of their members are unified and Vice President Harris breaks a tie. 

“A tie vote doesn’t stop us,” Durbin said. 

Tags Chuck Schumer Dick Durbin John Cornyn Ketanji Brown Jackson Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation hearing Lindsey Graham

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