Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson smiles during a meeting with Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, March 28, 2022. Following Judge Jackson’s confirmation hearing last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee meets today to begin moving her nomination to the floor but Republicans on the panel are expected to delay the process. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson smiles during a meeting with Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, March 28, 2022. Following Judge Jackson’s confirmation hearing last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee meets today to begin moving her nomination to the floor but Republicans on the panel are expected to delay the process. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Alaska’s senators say minds aren’t made up as Jackson’s confirmation pushes ahead

No Republican senators have signaled support for Jackson

A key committee vote for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson is scheduled for April 4, and national Democrats are pushing for the judge’s confirmation.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Democrats in the U.S. Senate are seeking a vote sometime next week to recommend Jackson’s nomination to the full Senate. Democrats can confirm Jackson without any Republican votes but only if every Democratic senator votes for her and Vice President Kamala Harris issues a tie-breaking vote, AP reported. Alaska Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski have not said whether they intend to vote for Jackson.

Several Alaska Native organizations have issued statements supporting Jackson’s confirmation, including the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and the Association of Village Council Presidents.

Shortly after the announcement of Jackson’s nomination in February, Tlingit and Haida President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson issued a statement urging her confirmation.

“Judge Jackson is not only an exceptionally qualified nominee, she is an historic nominee, and we look forward to learning more about her through the hearing and confirmation process,” Peterson said. “The Supreme Court’s decisions shape real opportunities in Native communities and we hope she understands the profound impact it has on the lives of Alaska Native and American Indian people and our way of life.”

In a March 23 letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Association of Village Council Presidents CEO Vivian Korthuis said the organization supported Jackson’s confirmation and urged a fair and timely confirmation hearing.

“AVCP recognizes the importance of a U.S. Supreme Court appointee who understands and is committed to protecting the rights of all Americans, including those who have historically received inequitable and unfair treatment. Judge Jackson’s breadth and depth of experience and record of fairness makes her an excellent choice to sit on our Nation’s highest Court,” Korthuis wrote.

Murkowski, who previously voted to confirm Jackson to a lower court position, said in a Feb. 25, statement that vote does not signal how she intends to vote for a Supreme Court nominee.

“I am committed to doing my due diligence before making a final decision on this nominee. Being confirmed to the Supreme Court—the nation’s highest tribunal, and a lifetime appointment—is an incredibly high bar to achieve,” Murkowski said.

Murkowski’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Press secretary for Sullivan’s office Ben Dieterich said in an email Tuesday the senator is still evaluating Jackson’s judicial philosophy and record.

“The Senator takes his constitutional duty to provide advice and consent very seriously for every Senate-confirmed position, especially judges and justices who hold lifetime appointments,” Dieterich said.

Several Republican senators including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, have said they will not vote to confirm Jackson.

Before her nomination to the Supreme Court, Jackson was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Alaska Bar Association annual convention in Anchorage in October.

If confirmed to the Supreme Court, Jackson would be the third Black person and the sixth woman to serve on the court.

Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

How senators have voted for the current justices on the Supreme Court, in the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate. (AP Graphic)

How senators have voted for the current justices on the Supreme Court, in the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate. (AP Graphic)

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