Sens. Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski joined fellow Republican Sen. Susan Collins in declaring their intent to vote in favor of confirming Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.

Their announcements on Monday indicate that President Joe Biden’s first pick to the high court, whose nomination they helped advance beyond the Senate Judiciary Committee after a deadlock vote, will be confirmed with at least a 53-47 vote. A simple majority is all that is needed, and all Democrats and independents are expected to back Jackson, who would be the first black woman Supreme Court justice.

“After reviewing Judge Jackson’s record and testimony, I have concluded that she is a well-qualified jurist and a person of honor,” Romney, a Utah Republican, said in a statement. “While I do not expect to agree with every decision she may make on the Court, I believe that she more than meets the standard of excellence and integrity.”

The decision marks a turn for Romney, who voted against Jackson’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2021.


“After multiple in-depth conversations with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and deliberative review of her record and recent hearings, I will support her historic nomination to be an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court,” Murkowski, who hails from Alaska, said in a tweet.

The 22-member Senate Judiciary Committee, which consists of 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats, voted on party lines on Monday. The Senate voted Monday evening to begin debate on the nomination of Jackson to the Supreme Court with a 53-47 vote. Collins, Romney, and Murkowski voted in favor of proceeding to debate the nomination.

Derrick Johnson, the president of the NAACP, called the Judiciary Committee’s deadlock vote a “stain” on the panel.

“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is a brilliant, accomplished jurist who is extraordinarily qualified to serve on the Supreme Court,” Johnson said in a statement. “The NAACP applauds the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote today which advances the nomination of Judge Jackson to the Court.”


Some Republicans on the committee, including Sens. Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and Lindsey Graham, characterized Jackson’s sentences in child pornography cases as lenient, while Jackson and her supporters said she issued sentences within legal norms. Graham and Sen. Chuck Grassley, both of whom were previous chairs of the committee during Republican majorities, voiced objections to how the committee treated then-President Donald Trump’s nominees.

Collins, a centrist GOP senator from Maine, said she plans on supporting Jackson last week. Jackson is Biden’s pick to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

The Senate is expected to file cloture on the motion on Tuesday, which will prompt additional debate of up to 30 hours, leaving the body on track to confirm Jackson prior to its Easter recess.

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