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Jackson to meet with lawmakers to begin Supreme Court confirmation process

Clyburn urges "strong bipartisan support" for Ketanji Brown Jackson
Clyburn urges "strong bipartisan support" for Ketanji Brown Jackson, Biden's Supreme Court pick 05:46

Washington — Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will kick off the confirmation process in the Senate this week with meetings with leaders from both parties, as well as the chairman and top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, the White House said.

Jackson, who President Biden announced as his historic nominee to the high court last Friday, will meet with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday. She will also sit down with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin and Senator Chuck Grassley, the panel's top GOP member, according to White House spokesman Andrew Bates.

The four meetings will all be in person.

Jackson will replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer if confirmed by the Senate and make history as the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, she has also served on the federal district court in Washington and as vice chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. If her nomination is approved by the 50-50 Senate, she will be the first justice in decades to have experience representing criminal defendants, as Jackson is a former federal public defender.

Following Mr. Biden's announcement, Jackson began preparing for the confirmation process Saturday and Sunday, Bates said, adding that she's "looking forward to her first meetings with senators of both parties."

Jackson's nomination received widespread praise from Democrats and progressive organizations, while Republicans vowed to conduct a careful review of her record. 

With Democrats holding a narrow majority in the Senate, as Vice President Kamala Harris casts tie-breaking votes, Jackson does not need Republican support to win approval by the upper chamber if all 50 Democrats vote to confirm her. 

But Durbin told CNN on Sunday that he wants Jackson's confirmation vote to be bipartisan and said it would be a "positive thing for" the country if senators from both parties support her nomination. 

Three Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — voted to confirm Jackson to the D.C. Circuit in June 2021, though they haven't yet said whether they would support her bid for the Supreme Court.

GOP Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, meanwhile, told CNN that he is "open" to voting to confirm Jackson to the high court.

"Her nomination and her confirmation would or will be historic. And like anyone nominated by the president of the United States, she deserves a very careful look, a very deep dive," he said. "And I will provide fresh eyes to that evaluation, and hope that I will be able to support her in the final analysis."

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