The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to Washington's U.S. District Court.
Jackson would be the first black woman to serve on the city's District Court bench in more than three decades. She is currently the vice chairwoman of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
President Obama said last year he would seek to add Jackson to the bench, but the Senate did not act on her nomination before adjourning. Obama re-nominated Jackson earlier this year.
The full Senate must still vote on Jackson's nomination, but D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who recommended Jackson for the appointment, said she was confident the upper chamber would give its approval.
"Her rich background and extensive legal experience will surely be an asset to the bench," Norton said in a statement.