Star Tribune

By Emma Nelson

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar met with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Thursday, as the U.S. Supreme Court nominee made the rounds on Capitol Hill in advance of confirmation hearings later this month.

Klobuchar, a Democrat who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in an interview that she expects Jackson will ultimately be confirmed with bipartisan support, as she has been for previous positions that required Senate confirmation.

"I'm not the Pollyanna — it's always contentious, these hearings — but I do think she's going to get some bipartisan support," Klobuchar said. "And that makes it a lot easier for the final vote; you don't need a tiebreaker, and things like that."

Confirmation hearings for Jackson's nomination are scheduled to begin March 21. Democratic leaders are aiming for a final Senate vote in early April.

Jackson, 51, sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She was previously a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and vice chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

President Joe Biden nominated Jackson on Feb. 25 to fill the seat vacated by Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his retirement in January and for whom Jackson previously clerked.

If confirmed, the Harvard-educated jurist would be the first Black woman to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, and the first to have worked as a public defender.

"We talked about the importance of precedent and the importance of actually understanding the lives of everyday people," Klobuchar said. "Her parents were both school teachers, and so she brings that to the table as well."

In meetings with Supreme Court nominees, Klobuchar said she aims to get a sense of their ability, their background and what they're like personally. She described Jackson as "a wonderful person" and said they discussed everything from Jackson's work background and Breyer to her children and family members who have worked in law enforcement.

"Despite all the polarization in our politics, you still want America to see what a judge is going to be like," Klobuchar said.