WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Monday vote on whether to confirm President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, ended with an 11-11 party-line deadlock, likely pushing the final vote off until Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, said he will “set in motion a process that will set up a final confirmation vote by the end of this week.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that Monday’s deadlock marks the “first time the judiciary panel has split on a Supreme Court nominee in more than three decades.”
Analysts had predicted the party-line split in advance of Monday’s vote, which was rendered late in the day due to a flight delay experienced by Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of California, who reportedly “rushed” from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. to give his “aye” vote for Biden’s Supreme Court pick.
As expected, Senate Judiciary Committee ties 11-11 on Ketanji Brown Jackson nomination, nomination now proceeds to a procedural vote on the Senate floor that will keep everything moving toward a final vote later this week
— Lawrence Hurley (@lawrencehurley) April 4, 2022
While the L.A. Times suggested that the “11-11 vote would add another layer to the process to elevate Jackson to the high court,” the outlet noted the tied vote “likely won’t stop her ascension to” the Supreme Court.
“Schumer is expected to file cloture on Jackson’s nomination, kick-starting up to 30 hours of debate before two additional simple-majority votes: one to end debate and the other to confirm Jackson as retiring Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s successor, likely before the end of the week,” the newspaper reported.
Jackson’s nomination to the Court has been fraught with controversy, beginning with Biden’s announcement that he would exclude any candidates for the role who were not black women.
Since Jackson was named for the role, Republican senators have probed the circuit court judge’s judicial record and generated headlines for slamming her allegedly lenient sentencing for child pornography offenders.
Pro-life groups have warned that Jackson is radically pro-abortion, while abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood and NARAL have welcomed her nomination. NARAL pro-choice America president Mini Timmaraju said Jackson has “a demonstrated record of defending and upholding our constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms — including reproductive freedom.”
During confirmation hearings, which kicked off March 21, Jackson expressed gratitude for being nominated for the role and signaled her intention to follow in the footsteps of her consistently liberal, pro-abortion predecessor Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his plans to retire earlier this year.
Breyer, 83, has consistently voted with the Court’s liberals and repeatedly ruled against pro-life legislation.
“It is extremely humbling to be considered for Justice Breyer’s seat, and I know that I could never fill his shoes. But if confirmed, I would hope to carry on his spirit,” said Jackson, who worked as a law clerk for Breyer in 2000 when he ruled against a pro-life Nebraska law that would have banned partial birth abortions.
Prior to rendering their “nay” votes Monday, Republican senators took the opportunity to weigh in regarding Jackson’s nomination and explain their reasons for opposing her confirmation.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who previously blasted Jackson for allegedly going soft on sentencing child pornography offenders, suggested that the circuit court judge’s prior judicial record is “based on her policy and her philosophy,” adding, “I think on those core issues she is just dead wrong.”
Sen. Josh Hawley: “My fundamental disagreement with Judge Jackson is not based on her character, her integrity or her accomplishments. I think those things are beyond question. It’s based on her policy and her philosophy. I think on these core issues, she is just dead wrong.” pic.twitter.com/ZTx69KY3O4
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 4, 2022
Similarly, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas told the committee he believes Jackson will be “the most extreme and the furthest left justice ever to serve on the United States Supreme Court.”
Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has often voted for Biden’s judicial picks, reaffirmed his commitment to vote against Jackson, arguing that her nomination “was really embraced by the most radical people in the Democratic movement to the exclusion of everybody else.”
“After four days of hearings and hearings, I now know why the left likes her so much,” Graham added.
Suggesting that Jackson will behave on the Court as an activist, Graham predicted that “When she wants the outcome, she’s going to get it,” calling her “an activist to the core.”
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the top ranking Republican in the Committee, stated, “Having carefully studied her record, unfortunately, she and I have fundamental different views on the role of judges and the role that they should play in our system of government.”
An initial procedural vote on Jackson’s confirmation is anticipated as early as Monday evening, and a final vote could be rendered as soon as Thursday.
Republican senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Susan Collins of Maine have all stated they will vote to confirm Jackson.
A Senate panel deadlocked on Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court, forcing a full Senate vote tonight that is expected to move it forward https://t.co/xxX86Sefq9
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 4, 2022