Ketanji Brown Jackson to Receive Rare Republican Vote

Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearing on pending US judicial nominations on Capitol Hill in Washington

Republican Maine Senator Susan Collins will vote to confirm U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, which gives the nominee a rare vote from the GOP side of the aisle as she proceeds towards becoming the first-ever Black woman to sit on the top court. 

Collins told the New York Times after meeting Jackson for the second time that she has decided to support the confirmation of the judge to be a member of the nine-judge panel. 

There is no question that Jackson is qualified to be a Supreme Court justice, Collins said. 

Whether Jackson would ultimately be confirmed was not in doubt, as the Democrats only need their 50 votes in the half-and-half Senate, plus the vote of the vice president, to bring her onto the court bench. The Democrat vote that was in question, Joe Manchin from West Virginia had already been confirmed in support of her earlier. 

The support from Collins comes at a time of severe and bitter partisan divide. Hostile and politically loaded questions were launched at Jackson during her marathon confirmation hearing, launched by hard-line, white, Republican men. Tom Cotton, Josh Harley, and Ted Cruz were three of those responsible for some ultimate “lowlights” of the confirmation hearing. 

The confirmation vote will take place next week. It is possible that other moderate Republicans could follow the lead of Collins and announce their support for Jackson.

Collins said that over recent years, senators from both sides of the political aisle have gotten away from what is the appropriate process for evaluating judicial nominees. 

In explaining Jackson’s massive qualifications, Collins cited her “breadth of experience,” including as a law clerk, private practice attorney, federal public defender, member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and is a district court judge for more than eight years. 

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