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Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson faces first day of Senate confirmation hearings

Ketanji Brown Jackson, nominated to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit, is sworn in to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending judicial nominations on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 28, 2021.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Supreme Court hopeful Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is set Monday to start a scheduled four days of Senate confirmation hearings in her bid to become the first Black woman elevated to the high court.

Jackson, 51, will deliver an opening statement after remarks from the committee’s 22 members. The hearing will start at 11 a.m. ET.

But lawmakers will not question Jackson, who currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, until Tuesday.

When she does, she is expected to field a barrage of questions from Republicans on her judicial record and philosophy. Some GOP senators have already criticized Jackson’s stances on issues ranging from court packing to the criminal sentencing of defendants convicted of child-pornography charges.

Monday’s session at the Judiciary Committee comes a day after the Supreme Court disclosed that its longest serving justice, Clarence Thomas, had been hospitalized on Friday with an infection.

If confirmed, Jackson would succeed Justice Stephen Breyer, who is retiring. Her confirmation would replace one liberal justice with another, maintaining the court’s 6-3 conservative majority.

President Joe Biden nominated Jackson to the Supreme Court in February.

Jackson has served on the D.C. Circuit appeals court, the nation’s highest-profile appeals court, since last year. She won Senate confirmation with support from every Democrat and three Republicans.

To join the Supreme Court, Jackson will need at least 50 votes in the evenly split Senate. Vice President Kamala Harris holds a tie-breaking vote for her fellow Democrats and the two independents who routinely vote with Democrats.

No Democrats so far have indicated they will vote against Jackson.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

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