Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson appears on track to become the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, as she has picked up a vote from a GOP senator and a key committee vote is scheduled for Monday.
Maine Sen. Susan Collins on Wednesday became the first Republican to say she plans to back President Joe Biden’s nominee, saying in a statement: “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.”
Jackson’s nomination is slated to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee for a vote on Monday at 10 a.m. Eastern. Jackson is expected to win the votes of all 11 Democrats on the committee. If all Republicans vote against her and there is a panel tie, Democrats would need to take an extra step to move her nomination to the Senate floor for a confirmation vote.
Collins was the first GOP senator to say publicly that she’d back Jackson, but may not be the last. Other Republican senators who may support her are Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah. Thom Tillis of North Carolina had been seen as another GOP possibility, but said in a statement late Wednesday morning he still had concerns she may “legislate from the bench instead of consistently following the Constitution as written.”
All 50 Senate Democrats are expected to back Jackson in a floor vote. A final Senate vote is expected later next week, following the judiciary panel’s meeting. Since Collins has announced her support, Democrats won’t need Vice President Kamala Harris to break a tie.