But the conflict in Ukraine and Washington’s focus on it could disrupt plans and delay its consideration. In addition, a Democrat, Senator Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, suffered a stroke last month and has been absent. Democrats want all of their members to be present for the final vote in case they are needed.
After being notified of the nomination Friday, Democrats and their Liberal allies portrayed Judge Jackson, a federal judge since 2013, as an impeccable choice who would gain valuable experience as a former public defender. She would make sure that “the Supreme Court reflects the nation as a whole,” said New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader.
“To be the first to make history in our country, you have to have an exceptional life story,” said Illinois Democrat Richard J. Durbin, who as chair of the Judiciary Committee will chair the confirmation hearings, which are expected to end in March. “Judge Jackson’s achievements are well known to the Senate Judiciary Committee as we approved her for the DC Circuit less than a year ago with bipartisan support.”
Other Democrats said the fact that Judge Jackson was recently roasted on the Judiciary Committee by Republicans in winning her spot on the U.S. Court of Appeals was a significant advantage.
“She gave as best she got in a most respectful and gracious manner,” said Connecticut Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal, a panel member. “She was just masterful.”
While Republican lawmakers mostly kept their fires up on Friday, party activists were on hand to denounce Judge Jackson within hours of her selection. The Republican National Committee called her a “radical, left-wing activist” and released a document displaying the party’s line of attack, drawing attention to a decision it made to remove an element of President Donald J.’s restrictive immigration policy. Trump, her work as a lawyer over a lawsuit filed by abortion rights groups, and her membership in the Cosmos Club, a private institution that has called it a “Washington elite club.”
The Senate could confirm Biden’s Supreme Court nominee without a single Republican vote, but he and his party want to avoid that if possible — and Judge Jackson has received some Republican support in the past. Even before the judge was elected, the president and Mr. Durbin reached out to Republicans they felt might be open to backing a Biden candidate, including Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah.