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2 more Republicans say they'll vote to confirm Jackson's Supreme Court nomination

Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson arrives for the third day of her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.
Chip Somodevilla
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Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson arrives for the third day of her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.

Updated April 4, 2022 at 6:57 PM ET

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney announced Monday evening they'll vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the Supreme Court.

All 50 Senate Democrats, including the two independents who caucus with them, are expected to vote for Jackson's confirmation. GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine announced last week that she would vote to confirm Jackson, giving her more than enough support to be approved for a lifetime appointment on the nation's highest court. She will be the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, if confirmed.

The Senate Judiciary Committee reached an 11-11 tie along party lines on Jackson's nomination earlier Monday.

Democrats were prepared for the deadlock and the outcome will not prevent Jackson from being confirmed by the full Senate. Top Democrats expect that vote will happen later this week ahead of a planned recess for the Easter holiday.

Democrats on the committee cited Jackson's judgment as the main reason for their support, writing that her "credentials, experience, and evenhanded approach to the administration of justice make her an outstanding nominee to the Supreme Court."

Jackson, 51, served eight years as a federal trial court judge and last June was confirmed for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Prior to becoming a judge, Jackson worked as a public defender. If confirmed, she would also be the first Supreme Court justice since Thurgood Marshall to have represented indigent criminal defendants.

Jackson's confirmation would not change the court's ideological balance, a 6-3 conservative majority, though. She will join the court in the summer when Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

Voters broadly support Jackson's confirmation. A poll from Marquette University Law School after her confirmation hearings showed that 66% of adults saying they would support her nomination, while 34% wouldn't.

Jackson was seen as at least "somewhat qualified" by 88% of the public while 12% see her as "not qualified," the poll found.

That popularity is in contrast to recently confirmed Supreme Court justices. Amy Coney Barrett, the last nominee confirmed to the high court, was supported by roughly half of Americans prior to her confirmation in 2020, according to Gallup polling. Support for Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch was in the mid-40s.

NPR's Susan Davis contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: April 4, 2022 at 12:00 AM EDT
A previous version of this story erroneously said the House would vote on Jackson's nomination. The Senate approves Supreme Court nominations.
Eric McDaniel
Eric McDaniel edits the NPR Politics Podcast. He joined the program ahead of its 2019 relaunch as a daily podcast.
Kelsey Snell is a Congressional correspondent for NPR. She has covered Congress since 2010 for outlets including The Washington Post, Politico and National Journal. She has covered elections and Congress with a reporting specialty in budget, tax and economic policy. She has a graduate degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and an undergraduate degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago.
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