Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on Friday he will vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court—all but ensuring her nomination to become the first Black woman on the nation’s highest court.
Manchin said in a statement that after meeting with Jackson, reviewing her record and monitoring her questioning before the Judiciary Committee, he believes Jackson is “supremely qualified” to serve as the next justice.
Jackson’s “wide array of experiences in varying sectors of our judicial system,” like clerking for three federal judges and serving as a public defender, gives her a “unique perspective that will serve her well on the Supreme Court,” Manchin said.
Manchin also noted Jackson and her family spend “a great deal of time” in West Virginia, and that her deep love for the state was “abundantly clear.”
Jackson completed several days of questioning during her Senate hearing this week, as she is considered to fill Justice Stephen Breyer’s seat when he retires at the end of the court term. Republicans attacked Jackson for her sentencing of child pornography offenders and her legal representation of Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Jackson said her sentences for child pornography offenders were in line with standard practices, and the American Bar Association said there is “no evidence” to support Republicans’ claims she did not give harsh enough sentences. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also questioned Jackson’s views of what he called “critical race theory,” which he said was taught at Georgetown Day School, where Jackson serves as a board member. Jackson was insistent that in her role as a board member, she has no control over its curriculum or teachings at the private school.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday he will not vote to confirm Jackson, as Republicans largely voice opposition to her nomination. McConnell said he went into the process “with an open mind,” but cited her refusal to state an opinion on expanding the size of the Supreme Court as a reason to oppose her nomination.
What To Watch For
Democrats want to confirm Jackson by April 8, ahead of a two-week Senate recess. Supreme Court nominations require a simple majority, which is expected to pass if Democrats remain united. Vice President Kamala Harris would break the tie if all Democrats vote yes, and if Jackson doesn’t receive any Republican votes. If confirmed, she will join the court after the end of the current term in late June or early July.