Sen. Manchin Says He Will Support Judge Jackson

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin will vote to confirm DC Circuit Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, he said in a Friday statement.

Manchin’s announcement signals Jackson’s likely accession to the Supreme Court, since he was considered by many to be the Democrat most likely to oppose her nomination. Although Manchin has voted in favor of each of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees, he has opposed several high-profile cabinet-level appointees. Manchin’s opposition sunk Neera Tanden’s bid to become the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and he also came out against Food and Drug Administration head Dr. Robert Califf and Federal Reserve nominee Sarah Bloom Raskin.

“Senators have a constitutional obligation to advise and consent on a nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy and this is a responsibility I take very seriously. Just as I have with previous Supreme Court nominees, I met with Judge Jackson and evaluated her qualifications to be a Supreme Court Justice,” Manchin said in a statement.

“Her wide array of experiences in varying sectors of our judicial system have provided Judge Jackson a unique perspective that will serve her well on our nation’s highest court. During our meeting, she was warm and gracious. On top of her impressive resume, she has the temperament to make an exceptional jurist.”

Jackson is expected to be confirm with minimal, if any, Republican support. Three Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted to confirm her to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in June 2021. However, during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Tuesday hearing, Graham staunchly criticized Jackson’s defense work on behalf of terrorism suspects held in Guantanamo Bay. In addition, Murkowski faces a primary challenge from the right, and polls indicate a close race. (RELATED: McConnell Says He ‘Cannot And Will Not’ Support Jackson For Supreme Court)

If no Republicans on the Judiciary Committee vote to advance Jackson’s nomination, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will file a discharge petition to bring her up for a floor vote. Judiciary chairman Dick Durbin said Wednesday that he expects a committee vote on Jackson’s nomination April 4, with a floor vote shortly after.