Vote comes after delay for Padilla’s flight
Despite an earlier hiccup with Sen. Alex Padilla’s travel arrangements, the U.S. Senate advanced Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination Monday afternoon.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, which includes both California senators, got off to a rocky start Monday when Sen. Padilla’s flight to Washington, D.C., had to return to Los Angeles because of a medical emergency.
“Due to a passenger medical emergency, Sen. Padilla’s flight was turned back and returned to LAX, delaying his arrival to Washington,” a spokesperson for the senator told the News-Press Monday. “He boarded the first available flight this morning and will arrive this afternoon.”
Sen. Padilla did, in fact, arrive in the nation’s capital later Monday and voted in committee to move Judge Jackson’s nomination.
“I’m proud to vote to advance Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic nomination to the floor, and I look forward to her being confirmed on a bipartisan basis in the coming days,” Sen. Padilla, D-California, said. “Judge Jackson is eminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. Throughout her hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, she displayed an unshakeable judicial temperament, sharp legal thinking and a commitment to equal justice. Judge Jackson represents the very best of America.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, also voted in favor of Judge Jackson on Monday.
However, the Judiciary Committee remained locked at 11-11, split among party lines.
That required Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to make what is called a “motion to discharge,” which is a vote to bring the nomination to the Senate floor for consideration.
Three Republican senators sided with Democrats and the two independents in approving the motion: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah. And not only did those senators help break the logjam Monday, but they have also signaled their support for Judge Jackson’s confirmation.
The Senate is likely to vote on Judge Jackson’s confirmation this week. She will be the first black woman to sit on the Supreme Court.
“After reviewing Judge Jackson’s record and testimony, I have concluded that she is a well-qualified jurist and a person of honor,” Sen. Romney said in a statement Monday. “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. I congratulate Judge Jackson on her expected confirmation and look forward to her continued service to our nation.”
Other Republicans have said they will not vote for Judge Jackson’s confirmation for a variety of reasons.
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said he differed with Judge Jackson when it came to judicial philosophy, pointing to the lifetime appointment. However, Sen. Blunt said he believes “her historic nomination is a proud moment for our country” and said she is “well-qualified to serve” as a Supreme Court justice.
But Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has criticized Judge Jackson’s past judicial record, calling it a “consistent, left-wing, radical approach.”
“If she is confirmed, she will be the most liberal justice of all nine,” Sen. Cruz has said. “She will be the most liberal justice to have ever served on the U.S. Supreme Court.”