Sen. Manchin To Vote For Ketanji Brown Jackson, Likely Ensuring Her Confirmation

The conservative West Virginia Democrat, who doesn't march in lock-step with the party, praised her qualifications.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson appears one step closer to becoming the first Black woman on the US Supreme Court.

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin announced Friday (March 25) that he will vote in favor of Jackson’s nomination to the high court. Support from the conservative Democrat, who has opposed the party’s voting rights legislation, is a major boost in an evenly divided Senate that could push Jackson across the finish line.

In his statement, Manchin said Jackson is “supremely qualified and has the disposition necessary to serve as our nation’s next Supreme Court Justice.”

Jackson defended her judicial record this week at a Senate confirmation hearing. Republicans grilled her, at times aggressively, on issues ranging from her sentencing defendants in child porn cases to her views on critical race theory.

RELATED: Sen. Cory Booker Moves Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson To Tears

Manchin said, “I met with Judge Jackson and evaluated her qualifications to be a Supreme Court Justice. After meeting with her, considering her record, and closely monitoring her testimony and questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, I have determined I intend to vote for her nomination to serve on the Supreme Court.”

He praised her record and career. Manchin noted that she was a law clerk for three federal judges, including Supreme Court Justice Stephen G.Breyer in 1999. As an assistant federal public defender, she served clients who couldn’t afford legal representation. He also highlighted her experience on the federal bench at the district and appellate levels.

“Her wide array of experiences in varying sectors of our judicial system have provided Judge Jackson a unique perspective that will serve her well on our nation’s highest court,” the senator added.

RELATED: OPINION: Changing the Chemistry of Justice By Elevating Women Like Ketanji Brown Jackson

No Senate Republican has so far announced support for Jackson’s confirmation, according to USA Today. Some of them have, however, stated their opposition, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. It’s unclear which way GOP moderates, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski, are leaning.

Nevertheless, Manchin’s vote of support means the entire Democratic caucus is now expected to vote for Jackson, USA Today noted. If none of the Republicans join them, Vice President Harris would break the 50-50 tie.

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