(WASHINGTON) — Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, faces up to 11 hours of grilling Tuesday on Day 2 of her four-day confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Jackson, 51, who currently sits on the nation’s second most powerful court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, will be questioned by each of the committee’s 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats over two days, starting Tuesday. On Thursday, senators can ask questions of the American Bar Association and other outside witnesses.
While Democrats have the votes to confirm President Joe Biden’s first Supreme Court nominee on their own, and hope to by the middle of April, the hearings could prove critical to the White House goal of securing at least some Republican support and shoring up the court’s credibility.
Here is how the news is developing Tuesday. Check back for updates:
Mar 22, 8:25 am
Questioning could prove critical in securing GOP votes
Questioning over the next two days could prove critical to the White House goal of securing at least some Republican support for Judge Jackson’s confirmation.
Three Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Lindsey Graham — voted in favor of Jackson’s confirmation to the D.C. Circuit last June, but after private meetings with Biden’s nominee this month, all three were noncommittal about supporting her again.
Jackson has been vetted twice previously by the Judiciary Committee and twice confirmed by the full Senate as a judge. She was also Senate confirmed in 2010 as vice-chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
No Republican senator has publicly disputed Jackson’s qualification to be a justice, though several have raised concerns about her rulings and presumed judicial philosophy, which she has insisted she does not have.
Even without bipartisan support, Democrats have the votes on their own for Jackson’s confirmation, which party leaders have said they plan to complete before Easter.
Mar 22, 8:08 am
KBJ faces fourth Senate grilling Tuesday
Confirmation hearings for Judge Jackson — the first Black woman to be considered for the U.S. Supreme Court — continue on Tuesday at 9 a.m. when she’ll face up to 19 hours of questions from Senate Judiciary Committee members over two days.
Jackson will lean on her three prior experiences being questioned by the Judiciary Committee — more than any other nominee in 30 years — as its 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats take turns probing her judicial philosophy, her record as a public defender and her legal opinions spanning nearly nine years on the bench.
Jackson has spent the past few weeks practicing for the spotlight during mock sessions conducted with White House staff, sources familiar with the preparations told ABC News. She also met individually with each of the committee’s members and 23 other senators from both parties.
Each senator will get a 30-minute solo round of questioning on Tuesday, totaling more than 11 hours if each uses all of his or her allotted time, ahead of 20-minute rounds on Wednesday. The grilling is unlike any other for federal judges or political nominees in large part because of the lifetime tenure on the line.
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