As Democrats Cheer Jackson Pick, Republicans Pledge Respectful Review
But the conflict in Ukraine and Washington’s focus on it could potentially upset the plans and slow her consideration. In addition, one Democrat, Senator Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, had a stroke last month and has been absent. Democrats will want all their members on hand for the final vote in case they are needed.
After they were informed of the nomination on Friday, Democrats and their liberal allies portrayed Judge Jackson, a federal judge since 2013, as an impeccable pick who would provide valuable experience as a former public defender. She would ensure that “the Supreme Court reflects the nation as a whole,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of the New York, the majority leader.
“To be the first to make history in our nation, you need to have an exceptional life story,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who as the chairman of the Judiciary Committee will preside over confirmation hearings, which are expected in late March. “Judge Jackson’s achievements are well known to the Senate Judiciary Committee, as we approved her to the D.C. Circuit less than a year ago with bipartisan support.”
Other Democrats said the fact that Judge Jackson was recently grilled by Republicans on the Judiciary Committee in winning her spot on the U.S. Court of Appeals was a significant advantage.
“She gave as good as she got in a very respectful and graceful way,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut and a member of the panel. “She was just masterful.”
While Republican lawmakers mostly held their fire on Friday, party activists were out in force denouncing Judge Jackson within hours of her selection. The Republican National Committee called her a “radical, left-wing activist” and put out a document previewing the party’s line of attack, calling attention to a decision she made blocking an element of President Donald J. Trump’s restrictive immigration policy, her work as a lawyer on a brief filed by abortion rights groups and her membership in the Cosmos Club, a private institution it called a “club of the Washington elite.”
The Senate could confirm Mr. Biden’s Supreme Court nominee without a single Republican vote, but he and his party would like to avoid that if possible — and Judge Jackson has drawn some Republican support in the past. Even before the judge was chosen, the president and Mr. Durbin reached out to Republicans they saw as potentially open to supporting a Biden nominee, including Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah.