A federal judge seen as a possible future U.S. Supreme Court pick by President Joe Biden cleared a key hurdle on Thursday in her nomination to an influential appellate court, winning approval in a Senate committee despite Republican opposition.
The Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Washington-based U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on a 13-9 vote. All those in opposition were Republicans, with two – Lindsey Graham and John Cornyn – voting with Democrats to approve the nomination.
Jackson’s nomination now heads for a final confirmation vote in the full Senate, which is narrowly controlled by Democrats.
Biden nominated Jackson to the D.C. Circuit to replace Attorney General Merrick Garland on the bench. That appellate court in the past has served as a springboard to the Supreme Court for some justices.
The Democratic president pledged during his election campaign to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court if he gets a chance to fill a vacancy, which would be a historic first. Jackson is among the most prominent Black women in the federal judiciary and, at age 50, is also relatively young.