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Sen. Susan Colllins, R-Maine, had “a lengthy and very productive” meeting with President Biden‘s Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Tuesday, almost two weeks before Jackson’s confirmation hearing is set to begin.
Collins, a moderate Republican, voted in favor of both of former President Barack Obama’s picks, Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. She told reporters that she would wait until after this month’s confirmation hearing to make a decision, but she said her conversation with Jackson was “very helpful” as they discussed Jackson’s approach to the law.
“I thought it went well,” Collins said. “It’s clear that her credentials and the breadth of her experience are impressive.”
Collins also noted that as a current Circuit Court judge and former District Court judge, Jackson has been confirmed multiple times already and is “not a blank slate to us.” She also said she is confident that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., will lead a “thorough and fair” confirmation process.
As a Republican, albeit a moderate, Collins recognized that she and Jackson have their differences.
“Well, obviously I don’t agree with her on every decision that she has rendered,” Collins said. Still, she noted that her impression of Jackson is that “she takes a very thorough careful approach in applying the law to the facts of the case, and that is what I want to see in a judge.”
Jackson is the first Black woman to be nominated to the high court, fulfilling a promise Biden made during his campaign. While Republicans accused the president of being discriminatory with his criteria, they have said they would evaluate Jackson based on her record and judicial philosophy.
Jackson’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take place from March 21 through March 24. It will include statements from the committee members, testimony from Jackson as she faces questions from the committee, and outside testimony about her, including from the American Bar Association, which traditionally rates federal judicial nominees.