GOP blocks Judge Jackson nomination in committee, force one-week delay on confirmation process

Confirmation hearings wrapped up last week in the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court later this year.

The Democrat-led committee had hoped to swiftly move Jackson’s nomination to a full Senate vote but that process has been delayed by at least one week by Republicans on the committee, the Washington Examiner reported.

Advancement of nomination delayed for one week

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a brief meeting Monday and Democrats attempted to advance Judge Jackson’s nomination on a simple majority vote but were blocked on procedural grounds by the committee Republicans.

Given the fact that the committee is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans and the necessary majority could not be achieved, Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) acquiesced to Senate rules and agreed to a one-week delay for further consideration of the nominee.

“I joined in the request to hold over the nominees for one week,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican on the committee, said during the Monday meeting. “I’ll have specific things to say about the nomination of Judge Jackson at that meeting, [one] week from today.”

Delaying the inevitable

Roll Call reported that Sen. Durbin was not particularly pleased with the delay but really had no other options given the governing rules, so he set the date of April 4 to revisit the matter of Judge Jackson’s nomination.

He did, however, also use the opportunity to chastise and smear his GOP colleagues for their questioning of Jackson during the hearings and expressed opposition to her being on the nation’s highest court.

Thus far, the outlet noted, no Senate Democrats have come out in opposition to Jackson’s nomination and, likewise, no Senate Republicans have expressed an intent to vote in support of her nomination.

That said, given the fact that Vice President Kamala Harris can deliver a tie-breaking vote in the evenly split Senate, Jackson can be confirmed without a single GOP vote if all 50 Democrats present a unified front and vote to confirm her to the bench.

Likely timeline of the confirmation process

Politico reported Tuesday on the likely timeline of events for Judge Jackson’s nomination following the “predictable” one-week delay forced by committee Republicans.

Now the committee’s confirmation vote will be held on April 4 and, if still tied, would likely be advanced regardless on a procedural discharge petition, a move that would be followed a day later on April 5 by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer filing for cloture on the nomination.

Then, following a required “intervening day” on April 6, the cloture vote and 30 hours of post-cloture debate would be held on the Senate floor on April 7 with everything being capped off on April 8 with a final confirmation vote that would require only a simple majority to make Jackson the nation’s first black female Supreme Court justice.