The Republican Maine Senator Susan Collins has announced that she will vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, essentially guaranteeing that Biden’s nominee will become the first Black woman on the Supreme Court. Collins is the first and only Republican so far to announce support for the SCOTUS nominee.

Collins revealed her decision to the New York Times first, following a meeting between herself and Jackson at which they discussed some concerns that had surfaced during the Judiciary Committee hearings. After the meeting, it appears these issues were straightened out because Collins reported to the NYT, “I have decided to support the confirmation of Judge Jackson to be a member of the Supreme Court.”

Sen. Susan Collins (right) meeting with Ketanji Brown Jackson (left)

It is Collins’ belief that Jackson will 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,” Collins told the New York Times. “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.”

“There can be no question that she is qualified to be a Supreme Court justice,” added Collins, highlighting 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.”

Without the vote of Collins, there would likely have been a need for Kamala Harris to cast the tie-breaking vote to confirm Jackson.

Collins is the first Republican to publicize her support for Jackson, and there has been no indication from moderate Republican senators Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney whether they will be supporting the Supreme Court nominee. Either way, Jackson will likely be confirmed without the need for additional Republican support if the Democrats remain united.

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