Democrats are trying to lock down at least one GOP vote as they head toward confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson for a seat on the Supreme Court.
At least one Senate Republican plans to vote in favor of confirming Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would make her the first Black woman justice on the high court.
Maine’s Sen. Susan Collins announced Wednesday (March 30) that she will support Jackson’s historic nomination, marking another major step forward after conservative Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin said last week that he will also vote for Jackson’s confirmation.
Collins stated, “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. I will, therefore, vote to confirm her to this position.”
The New York Times reports that Collins, a GOP centrist, decided to back the nomination after a second personal meeting with Jackson on Tuesday afternoon, which set her mind at ease about issues raised during the confirmation hearings last week.
After the meeting, Collins said she is reassured that Jackson would not be “bending the law to meet a personal preference.”
Jackson sat through two grueling days of questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee. One of the most qualified appointees in history, she faced endless attacks by Republican Senators from “racist babies” to critical race theory.
During the hearing, New Jersey’s Democratic Sen. Cory Booker made it clear that she has more than earned her potential spot on the high court.
On March 25, Manchin, who has opposed the party’s voting rights legislation, gave a major boost to Jackson’s nomination in an evenly divided Senate. In his statement, Manchin said Jackson is “supremely qualified and has the disposition necessary to serve as our nation’s next Supreme Court Justice.”
Manchin’s vote of support means the entire Democratic caucus is now expected to vote for Jackson, USA Today noted. Before Collin’s announcement, Vice President Kamala Harris’ vote would have needed to break a 50-50 tie between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate.
It’s unclear if any other Republicans will join Collins. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, announced that he will vote against Jackson’s confirmation. There’s a possibility that Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski could break ranks and join Collins. Murkowski and Collins, along with South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham were the only Republican senators who voted in 2021 to confirm Jackon’s nomination to fill a vacancy on a powerful DC-based appellate court, according to CNN.
Senate Democratic leadership is aiming to confirm Jackson to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer by the end of next week.