The US Senate Monday voted to move Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination to the Senate Floor after the Judiciary Committee deadlocked along party lines. The deadlock is the first time the committee has split on a Supreme Court nominee since Justice Clarence Thomas was nominated by President George H. W. Bush over 30 years ago.
Due to the 11-11 vote along party lines, senators issued a discharge petition to move the nomination decision from the committee to the Senate floor. The chamber voted 53 to 47 in favor of the move.
The Senate is currently split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. If the Senate deadlocks were to deadlock like the Judiciary Committee, Vice President Kamala Harris could tie break to confirm Judge Jackson. However, Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) Monday announced their support for Jackson’s confirmation, likely creating a bipartisan vote.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to file cloture Tuesday for Jackson’s nomination. The cloture process limits debate on any bill or motion before the Senate to 30 hours. Then, only simple majority votes are needed to close the debate and vote on the issue. This process would prevent Senators who oppose Jackson’s nomination to hold the floor indefinitely to delay a vote.