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Manchin says he supports Jackson for Supreme Court

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) walks to a caucus lunch at the Capitol on Dec. 17, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
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Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) said Friday that he intends to support President Biden’s nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, in a step toward ensuring Jackson’s confirmation.

Manchin, who has been a roadblock to some of Biden’s nominees and agenda items, announced his backing of Jackson in a statement one day after the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded its confirmation hearings.

“I am confident Judge Jackson is supremely qualified and has the disposition necessary to serve as our nation’s next Supreme Court Justice,” Manchin said.

Race hovered over Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing

Manchin cited Jackson’s “exemplary” career and record and said that her various roles in the judicial system have provided her with “a unique perspective that will serve her well on our nation’s highest court.”

He also noted that Jackson and her family frequently visit Manchin’s home state of West Virginia.

“During our meeting, she was warm and gracious,” Manchin said. “On top of her impressive resume, she has the temperament to make an exceptional jurist. Notably, Judge Jackson and her family spend a great deal of time in West Virginia and her deep love of our state and commitment to public service were abundantly clear. I am confident Judge Jackson is supremely qualified and has the disposition necessary to serve as our nation’s next Supreme Court Justice.”

After a combined 36 hours of hearings, Jackson appeared to remain on track for confirmation early next month, according to interviews with key senators Thursday.

Jackson’s confirmation will not be overwhelmingly bipartisan, and the top Senate Republican vote-counter, Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), predicted no more than three GOP votes in her favor. But leaders of both parties agreed that the long and often tense questioning did not alter the fundamental dynamics around the nomination.

In a 50-50 Senate, Jackson could be confirmed with only Democratic votes and Vice President Harris breaking the tie. Manchin’s support was crucial if Jackson secures only Democratic support.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to report the nomination on April 4, with floor action expected later that week. If confirmed, Jackson would be the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court in its 233-year history.

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