“I had a very good 90-minute meeting with her. But during that meeting I did not get enough information about her judicial philosophy. And that’s very important to me,” Collins, R-Maine, said when asked what she’s looking for when Jackson is questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.
“Clearly her credentials are impressive, and her experience is extensive. But I want to hear her enunciate what her approach … would be as a Supreme Court justice,” Collins told Fox News.
Collins’ comment marks a slight change in tone from her remarks about Jackson immediately after a March 8 meeting between the two. At the time, Collins said their conversation was productive and that Jackson “explained in great depth the methodology that she uses as she approaches the cases that come before her.”
The senator made no commitment to support or oppose Jackson immediately after the meeting. But she did not appear to raise any concerns about a lack of information about Jackson’s judicial philosophy at the time.
Collins was the second Republican considered a potential yes vote for Jackson who expressed concerns about her nomination Monday. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he was outraged at how the left treated Judge J. Michelle Childs, who was his preferred Supreme Court pick, in a pressure campaign to get President Biden to choose Jackson.
“So you say, Judge Jackson, you don’t have any judicial philosophy, per se?” Graham, R-S.C., said. “Well, somebody on the left believes you do, or they wouldn’t have spent the money they spent to have you in this chair.”
Graham lamented “vicious” attacks against Childs and indicated those attacks may cause him to vote against Jackson — even though he and Collins both voted to put Jackson on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals last year.
“This game is particularly disturbing to me because there’s been a wholesale effort of the left to take down a nominee from my state. And I don’t like it very much,” Graham said. “I’ll have a response, and I don’t expect it to reward that way of playing the game.”
Collins does not sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee like Graham, so she will not be required to go on the record about Jackson until her nomination moves to the full Senate.
Graham will have to cast a vote on Jackson sooner, when the Judiciary Committee votes on Jackson. That is likely to happen early next month.
The other Republican senator who voted to confirm Jackson last year was Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who faces a Trump-backed primary challenge in her home state. A vote for Jackson now could be politically painful for her.
It’s widely expected that even if Republicans unanimously oppose Jackson, Democrats will stick together and vote to approve her. In the 50-50 Senate, Vice President Harris can break ties on simple-majority, party-line votes like those to confirm a Supreme Court justice.
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