Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced on Tuesday that she would vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, The New York Times reports.
Jackson’s confirmation is all but assured after every Democrat signaled their intent to back her confirmation but it remained unclear whether Jackson would receive any Republican votes after heavily partisan Supreme Court battles during former President Donald Trump’s tenure.
Collins, one of the few Republican moderates in the chamber, became the first Republican to back Jackson after meeting for a second time on Tuesday.
“I have decided to support the confirmation of Judge Jackson to be a member of the Supreme Court,” Collins told the Times, citing Jackson’s assurances that she would not be “bending the law to meet a personal preference.”
“In recent years, senators on both sides of the aisle have gotten away from what I perceive to be the appropriate process for evaluating judicial nominees,” she said. “In my view, the role under the Constitution assigned to the Senate is to look at the credentials, experience and qualifications of the nominee. It is not to assess whether a nominee reflects the individual ideology of a senator or would vote exactly as an individual senator would want.”
It remains to be seen whether fellow centrists like Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney will follow suit.
Collins has previously supported Supreme Court nominees chosen by Democrats and opposed Trump’s nomination of Justice Amy Coney Barrett because it was too close to the presidential election.
Collins was also one of three Republicans to vote to confirm Jackson to her seat on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
“There can be no question that she is qualified to be a Supreme Court justice,” Collins said, citing Jackson’s “breadth of experience as a law clerk, attorney in private practice, federal public defender, member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission and district court judge for more than eight years.”
Dems court GOP:
Jackson on Tuesday also met with Romney, who voted against her nomination to the DC Circuit court.
The White House and Senate Democrats have urged Republicans to back Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the court.
Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin said he has “quietly” reached out to Republican members.
“I sincerely hope that we have Republican support for her nomination,” he said. “There are those within the Republican Party, I know from speaking to them, who understand the history, the significance of this nomination and want to make sure that Mr. Lincoln’s party, the Grand Old Party, is on board.”