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Ketanji Brown Jackson Now Has Bipartisan Support for High Court Confirmation

March 30, 2022 by Dan McCue
Ketanji Brown Jackson Now Has Bipartisan Support for High Court Confirmation
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

WASHINGTON — When the Senate votes on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court next week, she’s assured of having bipartisan support for her confirmation.

On Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said after a second meeting with the nominee that she had decided to support the nomination.

While it is unclear whether other Republicans will join her, Collins’ support all but assures Vice President Kamala Harris will not have to cast a tie-breaking vote on the nominee — something that would have been without precedent in the case of a Supreme Court nominee.

“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 said in a written statement.

Collins met with Ketanji Brown Jackson for about 90 minutes on Tuesday, and said afterwards that the judge had alleviated her concerns following last week’s contentious Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

Among other things, Collins said after the meeting, the judge assured her she would not bend the law to meet a personal preference.

Collins was critical of the process for evaluating judicial nominees itself, telling reporters senators on both sides of the aisle had gotten away from what she believes to be the appropriate process for evaluating individuals nominated by the president. 

“The Constitution assigned the Senate to look at the credentials, experience and qualifications of the nominee,” she said. “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 has a history of supporting Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. In June, she was one of only three Republicans to vote in favor of the judge’s confirmation for her current seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The senator has also long maintained that presidents should have a degree of latitude in selecting a prospective justice. 

There was one notable, recent exception — she voted against the confirmation of Trump nominee Justice Amy Coney Barrett in 2020 on the grounds the vote was being held only days before the presidential election.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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