Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2022. Credit: Carolyn Kaster / AP

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said on Wednesday she would vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, becoming the first Republican to indicate she will support the nominee of President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

Collins’ support all but ensures that Jackson will be confirmed to the high court without significant issues. There was little indication that any Democrats would break rank and vote against Jackson, particularly after Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said last week he would confirm her, but having at least one Republican in favor means that Democrats will not need Vice President Kamala Harris to serve as a tiebreaker in the 50-50 chamber.

After a second meeting with Jackson on Tuesday, Collins told The New York Times that Jackson, a circuit court judge whom the Maine senator backed for her lower-court position last year, allayed concerns raised by Republican senators during her confirmation hearing last week.

In a statement, she noted that she did not agree with Jackson on every issue but praised her credentials.

“I have concluded that she possesses the experience, qualifications, and integrity to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court,” Collins said.

Collins was long considered among the Republicans most likely to support Biden’s nominee, who is the first black woman nominated to the high court. She praised Jackson as well-qualified when the nomination was announced and said she thought the judge was “thorough and fair” after a private meeting in her office.

The Maine senator has voted to confirm most of Biden’s judicial nominees for lower courts so far. She has also voted to confirm six of seven Supreme Court nominees brought before the Senate during her tenure, including two nominated by former President Barack Obama, a Democrat. She voted only against Justice Amy Coney Barrett, saying the nomination was too close to a presidential election.

Democrats had also been angling for Collins’ vote. Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, reached out to Collins when news broke that Justice Stephen Breyer would retire and assured her she would be able to meet with the eventual nominee. Biden also called Collins before Jackson’s nomination was made public to inform her of his choice.

No other Republicans have indicated they will vote for Jackson so far, although Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska often votes similarly to Collins on judges and has not yet publicly stated how she might vote. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said last week that he would not support Jackson’s nomination. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, praised Jackson after a Tuesday meeting.