WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine announced Wednesday that she intends to vote yes on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The announcement means Jackson will be confirmed to the court with bipartisan support.
“After reviewing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s extensive record, watching much of her hearing testimony, and meeting with her twice in person, I have concluded that she possesses the experience, qualifications, and integrity to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court,” Collins said in a statement. “I will, therefore, vote to confirm her to this position.”
Jackson will be the first Black woman to serve on the country’s highest court.
On Friday, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia he, too, would announce support the nomination, all but guaranteeing Jackson’s confirmation. The Senate is evenly split, with 50 Democratic caucus members and 50 Republican members. Jackson needs a simple majority of 51 of the 100 senators to be confirmed.
Vice President Harris can break tie votes, but Collins’ announcement means there won’t be a tie. And more Republicans could come out in support of Jackson, like Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska or Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who said Tuesday he had yet to make a decision.
Collins, Murkowski and GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina voted yes on her appointment of her to her current federal court role. Graham’s aggressive questioning and remarks during the confirmation hearing, however, suggest he is unlikely to support Jackson this time around.
GOP pushed Jackson on her record
During the confirmation hearings last week, Republicans pressed Jackson on her record sentencing defendants in child porn cases and as a federal public defender representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay. In at times acrimonious back and forth, Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked Jackson about her views on her of court packing, critical race theory, and gender.
Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings:Graham, Jackson spar over child pornography sentencing
“In my meetings with Judge Jackson, we discussed in depth several issues that were raised in her hearing. Sometimes I agreed with her; sometimes I did not. And just as I have disagreed with some of her decisions to date, I have no doubt that, if Judge Jackson is confirmed, I will not agree with every vote that she casts as a Justice,” Collins said.
“That alone, however, is not disqualifying,” she added.
Collins voted yes on Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, but no on Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
“In my view, the role the Constitution clearly assigns to the Senate is to examine the experience, qualifications, and integrity of the nominee. It is not to assess whether a nominee reflects the ideology of an individual Senator or would rule exactly as an individual Senator would want,” Collins said in her statement Wednesday.
“This is the approach that I plan to continue to use for Supreme Court nominations because it runs counter to the disturbing trend of politicizing the judicial nomination process.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism