Watch Live: Ketanji Brown Jackson Speaks at Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing

Jacquelyn Martin | AP

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Supreme Court hopeful Ketanji Brown Jackson appeared before U.S. senators Monday as they kicked off four days of confirmation hearings, which started with Democrats hailing the historic nominee and Republicans showing skepticism of her candidacy.

Jackson, if confirmed, will become the first Black woman to sit on the high court.

The 51-year-old federal judge delivered an opening statement during Monday's hearing, following remarks from members of the 22-seat Senate Judiciary Committee. She pledged to be an independent justice who would carry on the spirit of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, whom she would replace.

Jackson is not set to face direct cross-examination from lawmakers until Tuesday and Wednesday.

When she does, Jackson is expected to field a barrage of questions on her judicial record and worldview from Republicans. Some have already voiced criticisms about Jackson's stances on issues ranging from court packing to child-pornography criminal sentencing.

The hearing comes a day after the Supreme Court disclosed that its most senior justice, Clarence Thomas, had been hospitalized on Friday with an infection.

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