Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin announced Friday he will vote for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, clearing the way to an all-but-certain confirmation.
The West Virginia Democrat has become a pivotal vote in the evenly divided Senate, as he often sides with Republicans, and his opposition could have blocked Jackson from becoming the first Black woman to sit on the bench.
“After meeting with her, considering her record, and closely monitoring her testimony and questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, I have determined I intend to vote for her nomination to serve on the Supreme Court,” Manchin said in a statement.
Manchin added that Jackson’s “wide array of experiences” in the judicial system provide her with a unique perspective she will bring to the court.
“I am confident Judge Jackson is supremely qualified and has the disposition necessary to serve as our nation’s next Supreme Court Justice,” he wrote.
Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Jackson wrapped up Thursday, after several days of intense questioning from GOP members, who argued she was soft on sentencing child pornography defendants.
Manchin’s announcement of support comes after the head of the Republican party in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said on Thursday he opposes Jackson’s confirmation.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet in an executive session on Monday. The vote to confirm Jackson could come as early as then, or could get pushed to the following Monday, April 4. Democrats hope to confirm Jackson by the full Senate by Easter.