Senator Susan Collins became the first Republican to announce her support for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, paving the way for the nominees’ confirmation to the United States Supreme Court.

Ketanji Brown Jackson

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Susan Collins Announces Her Support

Yesterday, GOP Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) became the first Republican to support Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, which all but assures Jackson will be confirmed as the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court.

It required a second meeting with Jackson Tuesday afternoon for the Maine senator to feel comfortable that the federal judge and former public defender would not engage in “bending the law to meet a personal preference,” as Collins told The New York Times in an interview.

“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,” said Susan Collins. “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.”

Collins then added that Jackson assured her that, on the topic of expanding the court, she “would forever stay out of that issue.” The GOP Senator has backed Supreme Court nominees from democratic administrations before, in 2009 she voted to confirm Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan a year later. Collins has also opposed the confirmation of conservative Amy Coney Barrett, whom former President Trump nominated just before the 2020 election.

Collins might not be the only Republican to vote to confirm Jackson. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) met with her on Tuesday, according to the Times, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) may also join Collins.

Cory Booker’s Passionate Speech

Democratic Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) delivered a passionate speech during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Ketanji Brown Jackson, which brought about an emotional response from the Supreme Court nominee. During his speech, Booker emphasized the significance of Jackson’s nomination, recalling the achievements and struggles of Black Americans that paved the way for the federal judge’s bid for the Supreme Court.