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Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin announced on Friday that he would vote for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, paving the way for a near-certain confirmation.
The West Virginia Democrat has become an evenly divided central vote in the Senate, as he often sides with Republicans, and his opposition could have prevented Jackson from becoming the first black woman to sit on the bench.
“After meeting with her, reviewing her case, and closely following her testimony and questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, I have decided to vote for her Supreme Court nomination,” Manchin said in a statement.
Manchin added that Jackson’s “wide range of experiences” in the justice system provides her with a unique perspective that she will bring to court.
“I am confident that Justice Jackson is extremely qualified and has the disposition to be the next Supreme Court Justice of our nation,” he wrote.
The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Jackson ended Thursday, after several days of intense questioning by GOP members, who argued she was lenient in convicting the child pornography defendants.
Manchin’s announcement of support comes after Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday that he opposes confirming Jackson.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet in executive session on Monday. The vote to confirm Jackson could take place then, or could be pushed back to the following Monday, April 4. Democrats hope to confirm Jackson through the entire Senate by Easter.