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McConnell says he hasn’t made his mind up on Jackson Supreme Court confirmation vote

US Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, meets with Senator Lindsey Graham, not pictured, in Graham’s office in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on March 15, 2022.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he hasn’t decided which way he’s going to vote on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Senate hearing for her nomination to the Supreme Court.

Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the top court, is set to appear Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The Committee will ask her all the tough questions. I haven’t made a final decision as to how I’m going to vote,” McConnell said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “It will be a respectful deep dive into her record, which I think is entirely appropriate for a lifetime appointment.”

It hasn’t been entirely clear how tough Republicans will be in their line of questioning against the judge, but it appears some lawmakers have stepped up their critiques against Jackson.

Last week, McConnell reportedly said he was concerned Jackson’s experience as a public defender could lead her to favor criminal defendants.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said last week he conducted a review of Jackson’s record and “noticed an alarming pattern when it comes to Judge Jackson’s treatment of sex offenders, especially those preying on children.” Independent fact-checkers later debunked Hawley’s claims.

Sen. Dick Durbin on Sunday denounced Hawley’s attacks on Jackson, saying on ABC’s “This Week” his analysis of the Supreme Court nominee was “inaccurate and unfair.”

“He’s part of a fringe within the Republican Party,” Durbin said. “He doesn’t have the credibility he thinks he does.”

Jackson, 51, would succeed retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. Her confirmation would replace one liberal justice with another, locking in the top U.S. court’s 6-3 conservative majority.

Jackson is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She has served on the prestigious court since last year, when she won Senate confirmation with support from every Democrat and three Republicans.

To join the Supreme Court, Jackson will need the votes of at least 50 senators in the evenly split chamber. She can win confirmation without a Republican vote if every Democrat backs her.

While most Republicans have cast Jackson as too liberal, no Democrats so far have indicated they will vote against President Joe Biden’s choice for the top court.

CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this article.

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