The Senate Judiciary Committee’s 22 members on Monday faced off a final time on whether to vote in favor of recommending Biden Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson receive a final vote toward her appointment, with Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz warning the judge is qualified but would be the most liberal on the bench’s history.
“Judge Jackson is charming. She’s talent,” Cruz said. “I’ve know Judge Jackson for 30 years and always liked her personally. … But I believe she will prove to be the most extreme and furthest left justice ever to ever serve on the United States Supreme Court. She will be to the left of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan – way, way to the left of Justice Stephen Breyer.”
The committee is expected to vote 11-to-11 along party lines, forcing Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer to use parliamentary maneuvers to get a final conformation vote before Friday.
Jackson is ultimately expected to be confirmed because she will need 51 votes in the evenly divided, 100-member Senate because Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins has said she will vote for her.
Cruz was preceded by Minnesota Democrat Sen. Amy Klobachur who said after about Jackson’s confirmation hearing before the committee: “I think we heard from this great judge and how’s she’s going to decide cases. She going to decide cases with fairness and she’s going to do the best thing and she’s going to look at the facts and she going to look at the law and she’s going to make a decision.”
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the committee’s to Republican, said earlier in the hearing: “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. Because of those disagreements, I can’t support her nomination.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also explained why he supported Jackson for the D.C. Circuit Court but will now vote against her high court nomination.
Jackson’s nomination, Graham said, was “embraced by the most radical people in the Democratic movement to the exclusion of everybody else.”
It is exceedingly rare for the committee to deadlock on a Supreme Court nominee. The last time such an event occurred was 1991 during the confirmation process of now-Justice Clarence Thomas.
A tie vote will mean Schumer (D-N.Y.) will have to file a “motion to discharge” the committee from further consideration of the nomination, before the full Senate is provided with four hours to debate the motion before a vote.