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Manchin says he will support Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

us Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, departs the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on March 1, 2022. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / AFP) (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Friday that he intends to vote for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, likely securing her spot on the Supreme Court.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin announced Friday that he will vote for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, clearing the way to an all-but-certain confirmation.

The West Virginia Democrat has become a pivotal vote in the evenly divided Senate, as he often sides with Republicans, and his opposition could have blocked Jackson from becoming the first Black woman to sit on the bench.

"After meeting with her, considering her record, and closely monitoring her testimony and questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, I have determined I intend to vote for her nomination to serve on the Supreme Court," Manchin said in a statement.

Manchin added that Jackson's "wide array of experiences" in the judicial system provides her with a unique perspective that she will bring to the court.

"I am confident Judge Jackson is supremely qualified and has the disposition necessary to serve as our nation's next Supreme Court Justice," he wrote.

Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Jackson wrapped up Thursday after several days of intense questioning from Republican members who argued she was soft on sentencing child pornography defendants.

Manchin's announcement of support comes after the head of the Republican Party in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said on Thursday that he opposes Jackson's confirmation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet in an executive session on Monday. Its vote to confirm Jackson could come as early as then or could get pushed to the following Monday, April 4. Democrats hope to confirm Jackson by the full Senate by Easter, April 17. Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

: March 25, 2022
A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to Mitch McConnell as the Senate majority leader. He is the minority leader.