Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation hearings live updates: Hearings adjourn

Julia Nikhinson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, completed two full days of questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee: 13 hours on Tuesday and 10.5 hours on Wednesday.

Thursday marked the final day of the four-day confirmation hearing; the committee heard from outside legal experts, civil rights leaders and the American Bar Association.

Jackson is back on Capitol Hill Thursday to meet with senators ahead of her full confirmation vote.

Here is how the news is developing Thursday. Check back for updates.

Mar 24, 1:13 pm
Hearings adjourn, Jackson on track for full Senate vote before Easter

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The Senate Judiciary Committee has adjourned after four days of Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Jackson, Biden’s first high court nominee and the first Black woman in history considered for the position by the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed earlier Thursday that her nomination is still on track for final consideration in the Senate before Easter.

“Once the committee concludes its work, I will move to have her nomination come to the floor in short order,” Schumer said. “There is not a shred of doubt in my mind she merits confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

While the White House had hoped the hearings would get Republicans on board to help confirm her, it’s still unclear if any will vote for Jackson, who is back on Capitol Hill Thursday to try to win more support.

In a sign that will be an uphill battle, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in his floor remarks that Jackson continued to “deflect” questions on her judicial philosophy and on court-packing and argued that she put senators through an “endless circle of evasion.”

Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the committee will consider her nomination on March 28, putting the committee vote on track for April 4 and allowing Democrats to meet their goal of a full Senate confirmation vote on Jackson by April 8 — when the Senate goes on recess.

-ABC News’ Allison Pecorin

Mar 24, 12:42 pm
Democrats reject GOP demands to see pre-sentencing reports

All Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, excluding Sen. Ben Sasse, have continued to rail against Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to allow them to see several pre-sentencing reports in child pornography cases Judge Jackson handled, claiming they can’t evaluate her judicial record without them.

Because pre-trial sentencing reports are kept confidential to protect victims’ privacy, Durbin has rejected the request which he called “reckless.”

“No one wants to harm children,” said Sen. Marsha Blackburn. R-Tenn., to which Durbin interrupted, “Then leave the reports concealed.”

“If you are a parent of some child who has been exploited, and you recognize this judge’s name is perhaps presented at the trial, and realize that now the report that has been kept in confidence, all these years is not going to be handed over to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, what would you think as a mother?” Durbin said.

Durbin noted that it’s information the Senate Judiciary Committee has never requested.

Mar 24, 11:15 am
Congressional Black Caucus chair says Jackson’s confirmation will send the right message

In a passionate opening statement, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, lauded Judge Jackson’s record before the Senate Judiciary Committee and slammed what she called “unfair attacks” by Republicans — though several GOP members on the committee weren’t present to hear it.

“These bad-faith efforts exist despite a resume that arguably surpasses those of previous nominees,” said Beatty, who was called as a witness by the committee’s Democratic majority.

Beatty praised the history-making moment that would be Jackson’s confirmation and said Jackson “will be a judge that will serve all of America and all of America can be proud of.”

“Judge Jackson’s confirmation will send a message to Black women and little girls like my granddaughter Leah, whose mother is the first black woman to serve on the Tenth [Circuit] Court of Appeals, and Leah’s first known president was the Black man and now she sees a Black female vice president,” she said. “So if the guidance counselor tells her, ‘Your Goals are too high,’ she will remember how Judge Jackson soared against adversity as one of our nation’s brightest legal minds.”

Beatty also noted that Jackson was confirmed to a lifetime judicial appointment by the Senate on a bipartisan basis last year and that she clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer, who she’d be replacing, which she said wouldn’t change the court’s ideological makeup.

Mar 24, 10:55 am
‘Stellar’ reputation: American Bar Association committee finds no faults with Jackson

The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary praised Judge Jackson’s qualifications and her unanimous “well qualified” rating, the highest rating possible, before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

The peer review committee tasked with evaluating Jackson’s judicial qualifications to the Supreme Court said they conducted confidential interviews with 250 judges and attorneys with “firsthand knowledge” of Jackson and said that everyone they spoke to thought highly of the nominee.

“The question we kept asking ourselves: How does one human being do so much, so extraordinarily well?” said retired Judge Ann Claire Williams, the first Black woman to sit on Chicago-based federal district and appellate courts.

After several Republicans on the committee painted Jackson as “soft on crime,” the retired judges rejected that characterization and specifically addressed that they found no issues with her sentences in child pornography cases or with her representation of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

“We heard consistently from not only defense counsel but prosecutors how unbiased Judge Jackson is. We heard things like ‘doing things by the books,’” said D. Jean Veta, another member of the ABA Standing Committee.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton, who pressed Jackson on her sentences in previous days, did not show up.

Mar 24, 10:37 am
Durbin opens final hearing with praise of Jackson, Booker

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., opened the fourth and final day of Supreme Court confirmation hearings with praise of Judge Jackson for withstanding attacks this week he called “unfair, unrelenting and beneath the dignity of the United States Senate.”

“My lasting impression is a judge who sat there through it all, head held high with dignity and determination and strength,” Durbin said. “A lesser person might have picked up and told her family, ‘We’re leaving. This is beyond the pale.’ She didn’t — and it says an awful lot to me about her character and why the president was correct in choosing her to be the next Supreme Court justice.”

Durbin also praised his Democratic colleague Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who moved Jackson and others to tears with a speech Wednesday evening, and said that his wife told him when he got home that Booker “cleared the air, finally, and refocused on what we were doing and why we were here.”

“And I have to tell you, his statement will go down in the annals of this committee and the United States Senate for the impact that they had,” Durbin said.

Mar 24, 10:03 am
Jackson back on Capitol Hill

As the Senate Judiciary Committee questions representatives from the American Bar Association, Judge Jackson is also back on Capitol Hill Thursday, not for questioning but to make her rounds with senators that will soon be voting on her nomination to the Supreme Court.

A meeting with Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah is in the works but not yet confirmed, a source familiar told ABC News.

While Democrats have the votes to confirm Biden’s first high court nominee on their own, the hearings could prove critical to the White House goal of securing at least some Republican support and shoring up the court’s credibility.

Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the committee will consider her nomination on March 28, putting the committee vote on track for April 4 and allowing Democrats to meet their goal of a full Senate confirmation vote on Jackson by April 8 — when the Senate goes on recess.

-ABC News’ Devin Dwyer

Mar 24, 8:43 am
What to expect on the final day of hearings

Judge Jackson, the nation’s first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court, has cleared 19 hours of grueling questioning at the Senate Judiciary Committee and appears headed toward confirmation as a justice with support from all Democrats and a small number of Republicans.

“In my capacity as a justice, I would do what I’ve done for the past decade,” Jackson told the committee on her third day of testimony, “which is to rule from a position of neutrality, to look carefully at the facts and … to render rulings that I believe and that I hope that people would have confidence in.”

The historic hearings resume at 9 a.m. and will wrap for the week after the committee hears from representatives from the American Bar Association — which has given its highest rating to Jackson — and outside witnesses called by Democrats and Republicans on the committee. Senators have five-minute rounds for questions Thursday.

Judiciary Committee Democrats have invited Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus; Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and Jackson’s former classmate; Risa Goluboff, the first woman to serve as dean of University of Virginia Law School; Richard Rosenthal, an appellate attorney and longtime friend to Jackson; and Capt. Frederick Thomas, president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

As several Republicans on the committee have painted Jackson as “soft on crime,” the GOP has called for their panel Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall; Jennifer Mascott, an assistant law professor at George Mason University; Eleanor McCullen, an anti-abortion rights activist; Keisha Russell of First Liberty; and Alessandro Serano, an activist against human trafficking.

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