(LibertySociety.com) – Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson recently sat in front of senators for four days, answering questions so they could determine whether or not they would confirm her nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. Following the hearings, many thought votes for Jackson would be divided along party lines, but one Republican has decided to vote against the majority of her colleagues. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) announced on March 30; she would vote to confirm Judge Jackson for a spot on SCOTUS. Her choice to break from her party pretty much confirms the judge’s seat on the highest court in the land.
The Arguments For and Against
The expected vote down party lines would have given the nominee a 50/50 tie in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote. However, now Jackson has a one-vote cushion with Collins’ support. About her choice, the Maine lawmaker said the judge has the “experience, qualifications, and integrity” to sit on the Supreme Court, in her opinion. Although she doesn’t expect to always agree with Jackson, that doesn’t disqualify her from the position. The only Justice she voted against in her career was Justice Amy Coney Barrett, nominated in 2020 by former President Donald Trump.
President Biden reportedly called Collins to thank her for the announcement.
Even if Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who has yet to say which way she will vote, casts a decision against the nominee, Collins negates her vote, and the Veep still breaks the tie.
Many Republicans spoke out against the judge, including Senators Lindsey Graham (SC), Thom Tillis (NC), and Mitch McConnell (KY). They cite her sentencing record and Liberal advocacy group support as their reasons. However, another Republican senator may join Collins and break from the party to confirm Jackson. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) is still undecided whether he will vote to confirm but said he had an “excellent meeting” with her.
What Happens Next?
The next step occurs when the Senate convenes to vote, deciding whether Jackson will sit on the High Court. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer believes Congress will confirm the new Supreme Court Justice nominee before the two-week spring recess. She will likely be the one to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced he would relinquish his seat soon. If confirmed, she will be the sixth woman confirmed to the court and the third Black Justice behind Justices Clarence Thomas and Thurgood Marshall.
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