Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Ahead Of Full Senate Consideration Of the Nomination Of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson To The Supreme Court

April 4, 2022

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor shortly before moving to discharge the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. The Senate is expected to vote on the motion to discharge the nomination later today, allowing for consideration of the nomination of Judge Jackson on the Senate floor. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

This week, the United States Senate will commence the final stage of confirming Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the 116th Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

It is a joyous and history-making moment for the Senate: one hundred fifteen individuals have come before this chamber for consideration to the highest court in the land, but none – none – were like Judge Jackson. Like many before her she is brilliant, she is esteemed and highly accomplished, but never, never before has the Supreme Court had a Black Woman bear the title of “Justice.” And she will pave the way for others to follow in her example.

Not long from now, the Senate Judiciary Committee will conclude their markup of Judge Jackson’s nomination by voting to report her out of committee. Chairman Durbin as adjusted the schedule to make sure all members are able to vote, but the process is moving forward.                                          

There is no question—no question—that Judge Jackson deserves a strong bipartisan vote in Committee, but sadly despite the Judge’s qualifications Republicans on the Committee have made clear that not one of them will vote to report her out of Committee.

If the Judiciary Committee does reach a deadlocked vote later today, I will move as soon as I can to have the Senate hold a discharge vote so that her nomination can be considered by the full Senate.

It is obvious listening to Republicans that their objections are entirely unserious: many who label Judge Jackson as radical and far-left today conveniently ignore that she received bipartisan support not once, not twice, but three times in this chamber, including by voice vote.

They also fail to mention that Judge Jackson commands strong support from across the political spectrum: from conservative judges, to the nation’s largest police unions, to a long list of former colleagues who say she is nothing short of the best of the best.

Republicans in committee have ignored, in other words, the plain facts of Judge Jackson’s record and that is deeply disappointing. Judge Jackson is a brilliant and a historic nominee—and her elevation as the first Black Woman to the U.S. Supreme Court should bring the Senate together.

Let’s be clear: despite Republican opposition, Judge Jackson has enough votes to get confirmed to the Supreme Court on a bipartisan basis. The Senate is going to keep working until she is confirmed.

Once Judge Jackson is out of committee, I will file cloture on her nomination as quickly as possible, and in doing so set in motion a process that will set up a final confirmation vote by the end of this week. I hope both sides can work together to advance her all-but-certain confirmation through the Senate without delay.

Once again, I want to finish by commending Judge Jackson for conducting herself brilliantly and unassailably during this entire confirmation process.

It’s not easy to be thrown suddenly and abruptly into the national spotlight and have every detail of your life scrutinized. It’s even harder to then engage in marathon sit-downs with nearly every Senator in this body in just a few weeks. And it is nothing short of herculean to endure three days of lengthy and at times deeply unfair and mendacious questioning before the Judiciary committee, with the eyes of the nation upon you.

But six weeks after her nomination was announced, Judge Jackson has proven that she is up to the task before her. She has shown that she merits the title of Justice. And from this moment on, the Senate will not stop working until we finish the work of confirming Judge Jackson to the US Supreme Court.