The U.S. Senate picked up on Monday Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic nomination to become the first black woman to sit on the Supreme Court.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a four -day confirmation hearing beginning Monday for President Joe Biden’s selection for the U.S. supreme court.
The Senate trial for the Supreme Court candidate has been a fierce partisan battleground over the past few years between Republicans and Democrats.
“Every court appointment is important because so many important things are decided there,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Political Center.
“Besides, most of these things are hot social issues that drive votes or motivate voters” like abortion or gun rights, Sabato told AFP.
Jackson has been nominated to replace another liberal judge, Stephen Breyer, 83, who will retire, and his confirmation ultimately will not change the composition of the court, Sabato said.
“Conservatives still have a 6-3 majority,” he said. “That alone reduces importance and should make validation smoother.”
Democrats have a vote – if almost – to confirm Jackson, a 51 -year -old Harvard -educated lawyer who once served as a federal public defender for underprivileged clients, if they remain united.
The 100-member Senate was evenly divided 50-50 Between Democrats and Republicans and Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris held a draw.
‘Playing to Republican base’
“Inevitably,” Sabato said, “some Republican senators will be chasing Jackson on a variety of topics.”
“Not because they think they can thwart it – they can’t – but because they’re going to play on a Republican base,” he said.
At the end of the day though, “Why disappoint an apple car in a fight they can’t win with a black woman legislator who is undoubtedly deserving?” Sabato said.
What’s more, several moderate Republican senators voted just a year ago to confirm Jackson to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Several Republican lawmakers have criticized Biden for following through on his election year promise to elect an African-American woman to court.
“Black women are, what, six percent of the U.S. population?” said Texas Senator Ted Cruz. “He said to 94 percent of Americans, ‘I don’t care about you.'”
Jackson has perfect credentials, however, and another Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, warned her colleagues to be careful.
“Given that Democrats, unfortunately, have been successful in trying to paint Republicans as anti-Black, it may be even harder to dismiss Black legislators,” Collins said.
While the forward attack on Jackson could potentially backfire on Republicans seven months ahead of the mid -term congressional election, Senator Josh Hawley, a conservative from Missouri, has laid the groundwork.
“I’ve seen a disturbing pattern when it comes to Judge Jackson’s treatment of sex offenders, especially those who prey on children,” Hawley said in a series of tweets. “This is a disturbing record.”
Hawley’s comments drew criticism from White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates.
“This is toxic and poorly conveyed misinformation that relies on taking cherry -selected elements in his record out of context,” Bates said, noting that Jackson has received the support of several police unions, which tend to lean to the right.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the head of the Republican minority in the Senate, dismissed Jackson’s 2005-2007 experience as a public defender, which has been touted by his supporters.
“He and his allies value his work as a public defender as helping him develop empathy,” McConnell said. “I think that means government prosecutors and innocent victims of crime start every trial in an unfavorable way.
“If any judicial nominee really has special empathy for some parties over others, that’s not an asset, it’s a problem,” he said.
“President Biden is deliberately trying to make the entire federal judiciary more lenient against crime,” McConnell said, a charge expected to be used by Republicans ahead of the mid -November election.
If confirmed, Jackson would be the third African-American to serve on the Supreme Court but the first black woman.
Thurgood Marshall sat on the court from 1967 to 1991 and was replaced by Clarence Thomas, who remained on the bench.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)