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Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson to start March 21

Senate hearings set for Supreme Court nominee
Confirmation hearings set for Supreme Court nominee 00:20

Washington — The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin four days of hearings to consider the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court on Monday, March 21, committee Chairman Richard Durbin said Wednesday.

Jackson, 51, currently serves as a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., and was selected by President Biden to replace outgoing Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer last week. She would be the first Black female Supreme Court justice in U.S. history if confirmed.

"As I have said from the time that Justice Breyer announced his retirement, the Committee will undertake a fair and timely process to consider Judge Jackson's nomination," Durbin wrote in a letter to colleagues. "I look forward to Judge Jackson's appearance before the Committee and to respectful and dignified hearings."  

Durbin said the first day of hearings will feature opening statements from Judiciary Committee members, an introduction of Jackson and a statement from Jackson herself. The next two days will be reserved for questioning by committee members, and outside witnesses will testify on the fourth and final day of hearings.

Democrats control the evenly divided Senate and hope to move quickly to confirm Jackson to the high court. A simple majority is needed to confirm Supreme Court justices in the Senate, thanks to a change in the chamber's rules in 2017. Jackson began meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senate Leaders Meet With Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with lawmakers on Capitol Hill on March 2, 2022. Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Jackson is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School, and clerked for Breyer in 1999. She worked in private law firms and as a public defender, and served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission. She was a federal district judge in Washington for eight years before being named to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2021 to replace Merrick Garland, who stepped down to become attorney general.

Three Republican senators voted to confirm Jackson to the D.C. Circuit last year: Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Graham, who was previously chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said he expected a "respectful but interesting hearing" when her nomination was announced.

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