Senator’s Travel Issues Delay Judge Jackson Committee Vote

Senator's Travel Issues Delay Judge Jackson Committee Vote Ketanji Brown Jackson Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on the second day of her confirmation hearing, March 22, 2022, on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 04 April 2022 04:11 PM

The Senate Judiciary Committee's Monday vote on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court nomination was delayed due to one senator failing to make it back to Washington, D.C., in time.

Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., adjourned proceedings shortly after 1 p.m. ET while Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., remained en route to Washington, The Hill reported.

"Due to a passenger medical emergency, Sen. Padilla's flight was turned back and returned to LAX, delaying his arrival to Washington," a Padilla spokesperson said. "He boarded the first available flight this morning and will arrive this afternoon."

Jackson's nomination was expected to result in a tie vote in committee. Democrats needed Padilla to be present to get the expected 11-11 vote.

"It is my intention to recess subject to the call of the chair," Durbin said. "I believe Sen. Padilla will back in time this afternoon for us to consider this nomination and a record vote."

Following the panel's vote, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was expected to move to discharge Jackson's nomination from the committee and to the full Senate, which is expected to vote on the nomination by Friday, The Hill reported.

The Los Angeles Times reported that, according to flight trackers, flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) this morning were due to arrive in Washington around 4 p.m., though it wasn't immediately clear whether Padilla was flying to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport or to Washington Dulles International Airport.

Reagan is only five miles from the Capitol, but Dulles is about 40 miles away.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has said she will support Jackson. With Collins' backing and that of all Democrats, it appeared that President Joe Biden's nominee had enough support among senators to be appointed to the high court.

If appointed, Jackson, in replacing Justice Stephen Breyer, would not alter the court's 6-3 conservative majority.

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