Washington DC: The Senate cleared the way Thursday for a final vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, preparing to endorse the first Black woman on the high court and giving President Joe Biden a bipartisan endorsement for his historic pick.
A 53-47 vote to cut off debate Thursday morning came hours before Jackson’s expected confirmation.
The White House said Vice President Kamala Harris would be present to preside, though her tie-breaking vote won’t be necessary. Three Republican senators have said they will support Jackson, who would replace Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires this summer.
Before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, Jackson said her life was shaped by her parents’ experiences with lawful racial segregation and civil rights laws that were enacted a decade before she was born.
Once sworn in, Jackson would be the second-youngest member of the court after Barrett, 50. She would join a court in which no one is yet 75, the first time that has happened in nearly 30 years.
Jackson’s first term will be marked by cases involving race, both in college admissions and voting rights. She has pledged to sit out the court’s consideration of Harvard’s admissions program since she is a member of its board of overseers. But the court could split off a second case involving a challenge to the University of North Carolina’s admissions process, which might allow her to weigh in on the issue.