Star Tribune

By Hunter Woodall

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar praised Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on Monday during the judge's first day of confirmation hearings in front of an influential Senate committee.

"You, Judge, are opening a door that's long been shut to so many," Klobuchar said. "And by virtue of your strong presence, your skills, your experience, you are showing so many little girls and little boys across the country that anything and everything is possible."

Klobuchar was among the senators on the Judiciary committee who gave initial remarks as the White House pushes for Jackson to become the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Democrats narrowly hold the Senate majority and don't need any GOP support to confirm Jackson if each Democrat in the chamber votes in favor of her nomination. Jackson's potential confirmation wouldn't change the tilt of the court, with justices chosen by GOP presidents currently holding six of the high court's nine seats.

Klobuchar will have a prominent role in the hearing this week, and is expected to question Jackson on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to a media advisory. But the Minnesota Democrat showed admiration for Jackson during Monday's hearing.

"Judge, I believe you have exactly the sort of understanding of what the law means in people's lives that Americans would want in a justice," Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar also reflected on the moment and climate the hearings are happening in, and pointed to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, adding that "Democracy can never be taken for granted."

Jackson, picked by Democratic President Joe Biden last month, would replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer if approved by the Senate. She is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

"With 115 justices having served so far in our history, you're the first Black woman," Klobuchar said. "And it's long past time."