Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said Wednesday she will vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Assuming all 50 Democratic senators also support President Joe Biden’s nominee, Collins’ announcement means Vice President Kamala Harris will not need to serve as the tie-breaking vote.
Collins said she would support Jackson’s nomination after meeting with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit judge twice. According to the Washington Examiner, the second meeting also included several other swing-vote Republicans.
In a statement, Collins said Jackson “possesses the experience, qualifications, and integrity to serve” on the Supreme Court.
“Judge Jackson has sterling academic and professional credentials. She was a Supreme Court clerk, a public defender, a respected attorney, and a member of the Sentencing Commission,” Collins said.
“She has served as a federal District Court judge for more than eight years and currently sits on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Her stellar qualifications were confirmed by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which awarded her its highest rating of ‘unanimously well qualified,'” the statement added.
Collins said she believes it is the Senate’s job to assess Supreme Court nominees’ “experience, qualifications, and integrity,” not their specific political ideology.
“In my view, the role the Constitution clearly assigns to the Senate is to examine the experience, qualifications, and integrity of the nominee,” she said. “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 previously voted to confirm Jackson to the D.C. Circuit appeals court, as did fellow GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Lindsey Graham.
According to The Hill, Collins has also voted to confirm every Supreme Court candidate who has been nominated by the president during her Senate tenure — with the exception of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who Collins opted not to support due to the timing of her nomination in an election year.
Jackson, meanwhile, could be confirmed by the middle of April.
“Democrats are on track to hold a vote on Jackson’s nomination before they leave for a two-week break,” The Hill reported.
“The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on her nomination on Monday. That sets up the Senate to confirm her by April 8.”