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Biden’s Supreme Court nominee faces a Senate confirmation hearing

Joe Biden’s nominee for the US Supreme Court will face the Senate Judiciary Committee when a hearing begins to review the appeals court judge who could become the first black woman to sit on America’s highest court.

Ketanji Brown Jackson will be questioned by the 22 members of the committee during the hearing, which is expected to begin with opening statements on Monday and conclude on Thursday. After the committee votes on whether to move forward with her nomination, the full Senate will make its final decision on whether she will fill the vacated seat for life Stephen Breyer.

The White House last week called Jackson had met 44 Republican and Democratic senators, including the entire Judiciary Committee, in a series of meetings that Supreme Court nominees typically have before their confirmation hearings. The American Bar Association’s Federal Judiciary Committee deemed her “well qualified” to serve on the court, the highest rating.

The Supreme Court confirmations have become an increasingly tense political process in recent years. Barring surprises, Jackson is expected to garner overwhelming support among Senate Democrats and possibly some support among moderate Republicans.

But even if she’s likely confirmed, some Republican senators could use Jackson’s hearing as a topic to “base grassroots” or advance their own presidential ambitions ahead of November’s midterm elections, said Barbara Perry, Supreme Court and presidency scholar at the University of Virginia .

Senate Chief Republican Mitch McConnell last week highlighted the support Jackson had received from a group he described as “far left.” He said on Sunday he has not yet decided how he will vote on their confirmation.

Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democratic Senator and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee that will chair Jackson’s hearing, said Jackson had support “from across the political spectrum.”

A Republican Judiciary Committee member, Josh Hawley of Missouri, last week accused Jackson of having a history of showing excessive leniency towards sex offenders as a judge and policymaker. The White House pushed back, calling it “toxic and poorly presented misinformation,” a response Mike Lee, a Utah Republican senator who also sits on the Judiciary Committee, called “cold, dangerous and offensive.”

While Jackson could face Republican opposition, Perry said that unless something unexpected comes up, it’s “probably the case that it will be confirmed.”

Despite the typical political squabble surrounding the Supreme Court nomination, some experts have argued Jackson’s confirmation by a bipartisan Senate vote just last year before the federal appeals court in Washington DC – and before that as a member of the US sentencing committee and as a federal district judge – could work in their favor.

Jackson’s confirmation would allow Biden to fulfill his presidential promise to appoint the first black woman to the Supreme Court. It’s also his first and possibly only opportunity to put his stamp on the US Supreme Court, a move that would embolden the progressive base of the Democratic Party after the three judges appointed by Donald Trump tipped the bench 6-3 in favor of the Conservatives had tipped .

Durbin said last week that Jackson’s appearance before the committee would mark a “historic moment” and that her confirmation would bring the court “closer to the goal of fully reflecting the diversity of America.”

Jackson’s legal career spanned from Harvard Law School and serving for Breyer on the Supreme Court to private practice and a role as a federal public defender.

While it would not change the bank’s ideological balance, Jackson’s appointment would prevent Liberals from losing further ground in court.

Before retiring from the court, where he has served for nearly three decades, Breyer will take part in several high-profile decisions including a case brought by the state of Mississippi, which has asked the Supreme Court to overrule the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

On Sunday, the court announced that Judge Clarence Thomas had been hospitalized with a “flu-like” infection and was being treated with antibiotics.

He is said to be released in a few days.

https://www.ft.com/content/fa20cc30-4d29-4725-be22-61b02a98c207 Biden’s Supreme Court nominee faces a Senate confirmation hearing

Adam Bradshaw

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