The Senate Judiciary Committee moved Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson closer to the Supreme Court on Monday, when senators aired grievances over the confirmation process and deadlocked along party lines in a vote on her nomination, reports Roll Call. The Senate voted 53-47 on a procedural vote to bring Jackson’s nomination to the floor for a final confirmation vote this week. Jackson, who would become the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, is expected to have the backing of the entire Democratic caucus and at least three Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah .
Democrats spent the meeting defending Jackson against Republican criticism over her past actions as a federal judge. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) predicted she would be the “most liberal justice ever” on the Supreme Court. Members also aired concerns about member behavior during this confirmation process, and decades of tit-for-tat between the parties, stretching back to Democrats’ treatment of former Judge Robert Bork’s Supreme Court nomination in 1987. Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Republicans “promised not to turn this confirmation process into a circus, and most kept that promise. Some, however, did not,” Durbin said. “Instead, they repeatedly interrupted and badgered Judge Jackson, accused her of vile things in front of her parents, her husband and her children.” Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the panel's top Republican, will oppose Jackson’s confirmation. Grassley said Jackson had taken “radical” positions in cases that interpreted criminal justice reform law in a way that would undermine the separation of powers.