Today is the day. The Senate is expected to vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman ever to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The vote comes after weeks of a contentious, partisan process in which Jackson met privately with dozens of Senators to answer questions about her record and in which some Republican senators used her confirmation hearings–a process which itself has a racist origin–as the opportunity to lob racist tropes and make strawman arguments against her nomination.
With the Senate evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, it appeared for a while that Vice President Kamala Harris might be in position to cast a historic, tie-breaking vote in favor of confirmation in her capacity as president of the Senate.
But ironically, late support from GOP Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) along with a bit of skullduggery that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) intended to hurt Democrats have paved the way for Jackson’s confirmation without the need for Harris’ vote.
From the New York Times
The first step is for senators to agree to limit debate on the judge’s nomination. In the past, that would have required 60 votes, as it still does on most legislation. But Republicans changed the rules for Supreme Court nominees in 2017 to overcome a Democratic filibuster of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s pick, so now a simple majority will do.
Under the agreement, senators who want to continue to debate Judge Jackson’s nomination will have only a few hours to do so. Mr. Schumer said it was unclear just how many wanted to take the Senate floor for a final bit of speechifying.
Though the result appears settled, it will be a moment for Judge Jackson’s toughest critics to make one last assault to try to sway their colleagues and show that they fought until the bitter end. Her backers will want to rebut what they see as an unfair and purposefully distorted attack on her record and experience. As the majority party, Democrats are entitled to the last word if they want it.
In other words, Jackson’s confirmation is a done deal but don’t expect that to stop the Ted Cruzes of the world from using the historic occasion to talk about nonsense like Critical Race Theory or whatever other lame talking points they can cook up.
For those who want to witness history, the process is expected to begin on the Senate floor around 11 a.m. EST.