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Republican Senator Will Give Vote To Biden’s SCOTUS Nominee

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, has gained another vote in the Senate which all but ensures her confirmation as the next Justice.

On Wednesday, Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced that she would vote for the nominee, CNBC reported.

“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,” the senator said.

“I will, therefore, vote to confirm her to this position,” she said.

After emerging from a grueling week of confirmation hearings with few scars, the 51-year-old federal judge was expected to be confirmed even if no Republicans in the evenly-split Senate voted for her.

But Collins’ announcement, coupled with the expected unanimous support from Senate Democrats, likely eliminates the need for Vice President Kamala Harris to cast a tie-breaking vote to confirm Jackson.

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

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Collins first shared her decision in an interview with The New York Times that was conducted Tuesday evening after Jackson met the senator for a second one-on-one meeting on Capitol Hill.

“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,” she said to The Times. “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.”

Another Republican who is being closely watched is Utah Sen. Mitt Romney who, as of Tuesday, had not decided how he would vote.

A reporter asked Romney about Republicans’ “tone” during the hearings.

“Some colleagues on my side of the aisle, I thought, asked respectful questions and were able to elicit responses from her that I think were very helpful to those that are making an evaluation,” Romney said.

However, he added: “I think any setting like this that doesn’t show respect for the witness, or in this case the judge, is not the right way for us to go. We should show, in my opinion, more respect for one another. And so sometimes the rhetoric was a little hot.”

Romney said that he thinks “in the final analysis, we’ll each be able to make our decision based upon our personal interviews with Judge Jackson and with the results that come from these hearings.”

“I have begun a deeper dive, a much deeper dive than I had during the prior evaluation,” Romney said. “In this case, as well, she’s gone into much more depth talking about her judicial philosophy that she had before. And we’re, of course, looking at her judicial record, as a district judge, and as an appellate judge, in far more depth than we had before.

However, it does seem clear that Democrats have the votes to confirm KBJ to the Supreme Court.

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West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin announced Friday that he plans to vote in favor of confirming Jackson to the Supreme Court.

Manchin called Jackson’s record “exemplary” and labeled her “supremely qualified” to be a justice.

“After meeting with her, considering her record, and closely monitoring her testimony and questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, I have determined I intend to vote for her nomination to serve on the Supreme Court,” Manchin said.

“Her wide array of experiences in varying sectors of our judicial system has provided Judge Jackson a unique perspective that will serve her well on our nation’s highest court,” he said in a statement, offering glowing praise of Jackson as warm and gracious and holding “the temperament to make an exceptional jurist.”

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