The Senate Judiciary Committee panel charged with deciding if the nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court of Ketanji Brown Jackson should advance is expected to deadlock when the vote comes late Monday or on Tuesday.
The vote, which was put off when Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla from California was delayed in returning to Washington, is expected to break along party lines. There are 22 members on the panel, 11 Democratic and 11 Republican.
A tie vote does not mean that Jackson will not get a vote from the Senate on the nomination. A Senate procedure allows Jackson’s nomination to sidestep the tie vote and be recommended to the full Senate for consideration.
Here is how that will happen:
After the vote, the committee chairman Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, notifies the Senate of the tie.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-New York, will then have to file a “discharge motion.” That motion discharges the committee from its usual duty of recommending the nomination for a vote of the full Senate.
It will also place Jackson’s nomination on the executive calendar. Being on the executive calendar will allow the Senate to take up the nomination the following day. Once the motion has passed, there will be four hours of debate evenly split between both parties.
After the debate ends, a vote to move Jackson’s nomination to the full Senate will be taken. The vote requires a simple majority.
If the discharge motion passes, the nomination process continues as it would have normally.
The committee adjourned Monday afternoon with plans to return later in the day when Sen. Padilla arrives. If Jackson is confirmed by the Senate, she will replace the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the nation’s highest court.
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