Maine Senator Susan Collins became the first Republican senator to announce her support of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be approved for the United State Supreme Court.

Collins said she has met with Jackson twice and has concluded she has the "experience, qualifications, and integrity" to serve as a justice.

"In my meetings with Judge Jackson, we discussed in depth several issues that were raised in her hearing. Sometimes I agreed with her; sometimes I did not. And just as I have disagreed with some of her decisions to date, I have no doubt that, if Judge Jackson is confirmed, I will not agree with every vote that she casts as a Justice," Collins said in a statement.

Those possible disagreements do not disqualify her as a Justice, according to Collins.

Collins, who has voted for six Supreme Court nominees during her tenure, said that the process of approving a Supreme Court justice needs to be fixed.

"Part of the reason is that, in recent years, the process has increasingly moved away from what I believe to be appropriate for evaluating a Supreme Court nominee," Collin said. "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 voted against President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee because she felt the nomination was made too close to the 2020 presidential election.

"To be clear, my vote does not reflect any conclusion that I have reached about Judge Barrett’s qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court. What I have concentrated on is being fair and consistent, and I do not think it is fair nor consistent to have a Senate confirmation vote prior to the election," Collins said at the time.

Sen. Susan Collins with Waterville native Sergeant First Class Dylan Lodge during her recent trip to Europe
Sen. Susan Collins with Waterville native Sergeant First Class Dylan Lodge during her recent trip to Europe (Sen. Susan Collins)
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Avoiding a Tie Breaker Vote

Collins' decision is good news for Jackson, the first Black woman to be nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Assuming no other Democratic defections, Collins gives Jackson 51 votes at a minimum. There may be a couple of other GOP yes votes, like Alaska's Lisa Murkowski or Utah's Mitt Romney, but we don't know yet," SNHU Civic Scholar Dean Spiliotes told Seacoast Current.

New Hampshire Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, both Democrats, have already said they will vote for Jackson. Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent, has not announced his vote.

Collins and King voted for Jackson's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2021.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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