Ketanji Brown Jackson set to become first black woman in Supreme Court

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Capitol Hill in Washington (Picture: AP)

A Republican Senator from Maine said she will vote for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to join the US Supreme Court, providing bipartisan support for President Joe Biden’s nominee to the high court.

Maine Senator Susan Collins said Wednesday she will vote to confirm Judge Jackson, all but assuring that Jackson will be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court.

In a statement, Collins said she has met with Jackson a second time following her confirmation hearings last week and decided that ‘she possesses the experience, qualifications, and integrity to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court.’

‘I will, therefore, vote to confirm her to this position,’ Collins said in the statement.

Collins’ support gives Democrats a one-vote cushion in the 50-50 Senate, and will likely save Vice President Kamala Harris from having to be the tie-breaker in the vote. It is expected that all 50 Democrats will support Jackson.

Jackson, 51, faced a grueling week of confirmation hearings, where Republican Senators questioned her on a range of judicial issues and took the hearing as an opportunity to air grievances on a list of conservative social issues.

She was expected to be confirmed even if no Republicans in the evenly split Senate cast a vote for her. Jackson, who would replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, would be the third Black justice to join the high court after Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas. She would also be the sixth woman, and the first former public defender on the court.

Two other more moderate Republicans, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah, have not yet revealed how they plan to vote on Jackson’s nomination.

It’s unclear if any other Republican senators will vote for Jackson, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said last week he would not be supporting her due to her sentencing record and her support from liberal advocacy groups.

Collins called the confirmation process ‘broken’ during an interview with The New York Times, during which she shared her decision to vote for Jackson.

‘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. ‘That alone, however, is not disqualifying.’

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