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Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson...

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Senator Susan Collins has declared that she will vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court when the Senate convenes next week, becoming the first from the GOP to do so publicly.

The Republican senator from Maine first declared her support for the federal judge to the New York Times. Collins then issued a statement to the public through her office. “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,” Collins wrote. “I will, therefore, vote to confirm her to this position.”

Collins and Jackson met for the second time after last week’s contentious confirmation hearings in Washington D.C. on Tuesday (March 29th) for an hour, tackling several issues that were brought up in the Senate Judiciary Committee proceedings by Collins’ GOP colleagues. Ms. Collins told the Times that she was satisfied with voting for Jackson, citing “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.” The senator from Maine had previously voted for Judge Jackson to be confirmed to her current federal position last year. Jackson also met with Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah.

The news of Collins’ intent to vote yes is a huge victory for the Biden administration. The purported centrist senator is the first from the GOP ranks to openly support Jackson becoming the first Black woman to be a Supreme Court Justice. Another pivotal vote was confirmed when Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) said that he would vote yes to confirm Jackson to the court last week. Collins getting on board means both bipartisan support and the avoidance of having Vice President Kamala Harris become the tiebreaker to have Jackson appointed to fill the seat of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.