Collins to have follow-up call with Ketanji Brown Jackson
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said on Monday that she plans to speak with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson this week as she weighs whether to support the Supreme Court nominee.
The conversation, which is expected to take place over the phone, comes after Collins and Jackson met in person earlier this month for roughly 90 minutes.
“I plan to have a telephone call with Judge Jackson this week to clarify some of the issues that were raised at the hearing. At this point, over the weekend, I had the opportunity to go through all of the excerpts from the hearing, which was very helpful, and I have a few questions,” Collins told reporters.
Collins previously said late last week that she was asking for “clarifications” and additional materials from the White House. Collins declined at the time to say what clarifications she was asking for.
Collins hasn’t said how she will vote, but she is viewed as the most likely “yes” vote on Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination. Collins has voted for every Supreme Court nominee since she joined the Senate except for Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Collins has said that her opposition to Barrett, who was nominated by former President Trump, was not about her qualifications but because the vote happened so shortly before the 2020 election after Republicans refused to consider Merrick Garland’s nomination before the 2016 presidential contest.
Collins was also one of three GOP senators who previously supported Jackson last year for her Appeals Court seat, along with Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).
Graham is widely viewed as a “no” vote after offering some of the tensest moments during Jackson’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week. Murkowski, who is up for reelection in November and facing a Trump-backed challenger, hasn’t tipped her hand on how she could vote.
The Judiciary panel is scheduled to vote on Jackson’s nomination on Monday, April 4. That paves the way for the Senate to vote on her nomination by April 8, when the chamber is poised to leave town for a two-week break.
Democrats can confirm Jackson on their own as long as all 50 of their members support her and are present to vote. But Democrats are eager to peel off at least one GOP vote.
In addition to the three GOP senators who backed Jackson last year, there are a handful of other GOP senators who haven’t yet said how they will vote who are considered potential votes-to-watch.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who previously opposed her for the appeals seat, is expected to meet with Jackson on Tuesday.
“We haven’t had a chance to talk yet. I look forward to doing that. I’ve got a number of questions,” Romney said.
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