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The US Senate is close to confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court

The US Senate is poised to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to a Supreme Court seat, making her the first black female judge on America’s highest court, marking a major victory for President Joe Biden, who campaigned for her nomination.

A final vote in the upper chamber of Congress to seal Jackson’s confirmation is due Thursday afternoon after Senate Democratic leaders concluded she had enough support to get the legislation greenlit.

All Democratic senators are expected to vote to confirm Jackson, 51, along with three Republican senators including Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and give her bipartisan support for the court nomination for life admit.

Jackson, currently Justice on the Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, will replace retiring Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, who was nominated for the Supreme Court by former President Bill Clinton, so her confirmation to the nine-member panel will not be his change ideological composition. Right now, the Supreme Court is heavily biased toward conservative justices, who hold six seats, compared to just three for liberals appointed by Clinton and Barack Obama.

Still, Jackson’s rise to the Supreme Court is historic, not only because she is the first black woman to reach the highest echelon of the US judiciary, but also because she would be the first judge to have served as a public defender.

“It’s going to be a happy day: happy for the Senate, happy for the Supreme Court, happy for America. Although we still have a long way to go, tomorrow America will take a giant step toward becoming a more perfect nation,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said late Wednesday when announcing the timing of the vote.

Jackson’s confirmation must first clear a procedural vote at 11 a.m. local time in Washington – the final vote is expected around 1:45 p.m.

Jackson has been considered the front runner for the position since Biden took office after campaigning to promise to become the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Some Biden allies, such as South Carolina Democrat Jim Clyburn, had pushed for alternative candidates, but the US president ultimately sided with Jackson as a highly qualified and easily confirmed candidate. Biden officially announced Jackson’s nomination on February 25, the day after Russia invaded Ukraine, as a sign of the importance of the nomination to his presidency and the Democrats in Congress.

The White House and Democrats are hoping that Jackson’s successful move to the Supreme Court will help stoke enthusiasm within the party’s grassroots ahead of the midterm elections, where Republicans will vote amid low Biden approval ratings and voter unease over high inflation have the upper hand.

Progressive Democrats were also disappointed that Biden and Congress failed to agree on legislation to protect voting rights and much of his economic agenda, including more funding for education, childcare and climate change, paid for with higher taxes on wealthy and big corporations .

https://www.ft.com/content/6c345ad8-0c99-4edc-976d-ce680a2ea492 The US Senate is close to confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court

Adam Bradshaw

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