By Katherine Coviello and Gracy Joslin
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Susan Collins of Maine announced her plans to vote for U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, guaranteeing at least one GOP vote to Biden’s effort to choose the first Black woman to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Despite the hope of bipartisan support for a historic nomination, it seems like bipartisan support may be limited, said a pundit. Following Judge Jackson’s confirmation hearing and contentious questioning that has drawn backlash, Republican support looks few and far between.
“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,” Senator Collins said, according to 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,” the lawmaker added.
Senator Collins commented that Judge Jackson was unquestionably qualified. However, her vote is not confirmed which leaves the possibility of Vice President Kamala Harris having to make the tie-breaker decision.
Even with Senator Collins’ explicit support for Judge Jackson, other Republican senate members including Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski are likely not to reveal their decision up until the vote—however, according to the New York Times, they are the most “promising prospects for crossover support of Judge Jackson.”
After the hearings, Senator Collins met with the Supreme Court nominee to address the concerns raised by the judiciary committee, which included Judge Jackson’s history of sentencing of child sex abuse defendants, her opinion on expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court and a previous legal brief regarding former President Bush and his involvement in Guantanamo Bay.
After discussing these issues, Senator Collins said she was able to better understand that Judge Jackson was not accusing former President George Bush of being a war criminal and understandably wishes to stay out of the debate over adding seats to the court, thus clearing up concerns.