Three Republicans Vote With Democrats In Preview Of Final Jackson Confirmation

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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The Senate advanced Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination Monday night through a discharge petition after the Judiciary Committee deadlocked on a procedural vote.

The Senate Judiciary Committee tied on Jackson’s nomination 11-11, with all Democrats voting in favor and all Republicans voting against. Discharge motions allow Congress to advance bills or nominees out of committees for a full vote when the committees refuse to advance the bills or nominees. Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the only Republican to previously announce support for Jackson’s nomination, voted with Democrats in favor of the discharge motion.

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah also voted to advance Jackson’s nomination. Both will support Jackson’s nomination in a final vote.

“My support rests on Judge Jackson’s qualifications, which no one questions; her demonstrated judicial independence; her demeanor and temperament; and the important perspective she would bring to the court as a replacement for Justice Breyer,” Murkowski 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,” Romney said.

The vote to move Jackson’s nomination out of committee was delayed for several hours after Democratic California Sen. Alex Padilla’s Sunday flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. was cancelled due to a fellow passenger’s medical emergency. Padilla arrived at the Capitol for the Senate Judiciary Committee vote shortly after 4:00 p.m.

It could have happened to any one of us,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin of Illinois said when announcing the delay. (RELATED: Sen. Tim Kaine Was Stuck On High Way For Over 27 Hours In Snowstorm)

The discharge vote serves as a likely preview of Jackson’s final confirmation vote. Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Collins, and Murkowski previously voted to confirm Jackson to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Graham already announced he would vote against Jackson’s confirmation.

“Judge Jackson is an outstanding nominee. She’s earned support across the political and ideological spectrum,” Durbin said on the Senate floor. “Her qualifications are second to none.”