On Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins became the first Republican to announce that she will vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
In a written statement, the Republican from Maine said she has met with Jackson twice and has “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.”
Collins says Jackson has ” sterling academic and professional credentials,” including her decade as a federal judge, a public defender, an attorney in private practice, a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and a clerk for retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who President Biden nominated her to replace.
Collins says during her meetings with Jackson, they discussed in-depth several issues that were raised during her confirmation hearings. Collins says she agreed with Jackson on some issues and not on others and fully expects that, if Jackson is confirmed, she would not agree with every vote she casts as a Justice.
“That alone, however, is not disqualifying,” wrote Collins. “Indeed, that statement applies to all six Justices, nominated by both Republican and Democratic Presidents, whom I have voted to confirm.”
Collins went on to write: “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 was one of three sitting Republican Senators, along with Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, to have voted for Judge Jackson’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.
The Senate is set to vote on Judge Jackson’s confirmation next week.