Collins to Support Jackson

Concerns have been alleviated.

Via the NYT: Collins to Back Jackson for Supreme Court, Giving Her a G.O.P. Vote

After a second personal meeting with the judge on Tuesday afternoon, Ms. Collins said Judge Jackson had alleviated some concerns that surfaced after last week’s contentious Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, when Republicans attacked the nominee for her record and grilled her on a host of divisive issues.

“I have decided to support the confirmation of Judge Jackson to be a member of the Supreme Court,” Ms. Collins said in an interview after the meeting.

The centrist senator, often a key vote on Supreme Court clashes, said that she had been reassured that Judge Jackson would not be “bending the law to meet a personal preference” and that the nominee met her personal standard for serving on the court.

From a purely practical point of view, an additional vote means that the margin for error (i.e., some emergency preventing one of the Democrats from voting) is expanded a tad. It also allows the patina of “bipartisanship” for news stories (I don’t think it matters much beyond that). While there is some symbolic usefulness, I suppose, to having Justices confirmed by larger than the bare minimum, the reality is that confirmed in confirmed.

Mostly I am sufficiently cynical about Collin in particular to note that the main service this provides is media attention for Collins.

I have definitely gotten to the point where the performative pontifications after a personal meeting just sound incredibly hollow from any Senator (as if a given meeting really was dispositive), but especially so from Senator Concerns.

FILED UNDER: Supreme Court, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Sleeping Dog says:

    After spending the last 5 years caving to whatever TFG/Moscow Mitch wanted, Collins’ needs to buff the tarnished patina of “independence.” This will be a cost free vote for her, McConnell is unlikely to demand following the rest of the caucus, not to forget, there maybe a couple of other R’s who plan on voting for Jackson.

    Senator Concerns, indeed. 🙂

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  2. MarkedMan says:

    Mostly I am sufficiently cynical about Collin in particular to note that the main service this provides is media attention for Collins.

    That about sums it up. If it came down to her being the critical vote, she would find something to be concerned about and fall in line with the other Republicans. She is brave when it doesn’t matter, and a meek follower when it does.

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  3. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I’ve got $20 that says she gets back in line and votes “no”.

  4. DK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Collins’ needs to buff the tarnished patina of “independence.” This will be a cost free vote for her

    Yup. Costs her nothing and gains her quite a bit of political capital. Collins is a very good politician, I have to admit.

    Cynicism aside, I think Senate centrists/institutionalists were genuinely unhappy with Hawley, Blackburn, Cruz, and Graham turning the confirmation hearings into a QAnon sideshow.

    I also suspect there’s some backroom handwringing about the poor optics of having a historically well-qualified and demographically-historic nominee confirmed with a 51-50 tiebreak.

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  5. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: You and me both. I’m very concerned she may change her mind.

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  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    @DK:

    Also, polling indicates that the public and in particular, registered independents, are very supportive of Jackson. There are likely several R senators that are disposed to vote for Jackson, simply because she is qualified and has no skeletons in hiding, but the Q sideshow has made that difficult as it has riled up the MAGAts.

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  7. Gustopher says:

    I have definitely gotten to the point where the performative pontifications after a personal meeting just sound incredibly hollow from any Senator (as if a given meeting really was dispositive), but especially so from Senator Concerns.

    We don’t know what happens in these private meetings, and it may have been extremely dispositive. Once they remove their human skin suits, and reveal to one another that they are lizard people, and start talking in their native language and sharing a meal of small mammals together, Collins could have shared her vague concerns about things in the world that are concerning, and then Jackson may have looked at her with her deep, unblinking lizard eyes and said that she too was concerned.

    Or they may have simply sat in silence, checking their phones and occasionally saying “look at this cat!”, waiting for the proscribed hour to be up, taking a break from the show in front of the press, who were waiting patiently and eagerly outside.

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