Republican Sen. Susan Collins says she'll will vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, guaranteeing President Biden's judicial nominee at least a slim path toward confirmation.
Jackson will need 51 votes in final Senate vote – with the chamber evenly split among 50 Democrats and 50 Republican. With no GOP support, Vice President Kamala Harris would cast the decisive, tiebreaker vote.
Collins, a moderate, met with Jackson on Tuesday afternoon and afterward said the meeting was helpful in alleviating some concerns she had following last week's Judiciary Committee hearings.
"I have decided to support the confirmation of Judge Jackson to be a member of the Supreme Court," Collins, of maine, told the New York Times following the meeting.
"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," Collins said. "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."
A vote from Collins will allow the Biden administration to tout some degree of bipartisan support for Jackson and will allow them avoid bringing in Vice President Kamala Harris to break a tied confirmation vote. It is unclear if any other Republicans will vote beside Collins. GOP Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) are also seen as potential 'yes' votes for Jackson.
Collins voted against the confirmation of now-Justice Amy Coney Barrett, arguing that it was wrong to hold the vote just days prior to a presidential election.