Mitt Romney Could Flip and Vote Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) said he hasn't decided how he will vote on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the Supreme Court and that he's doing a "deeper dive" than the last time he assessed her.

Romney voted against Jackson's appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2021 when she was nominated by President Joe Biden.

However, the senator told CNN's Kasie Hunt in a clip aired on Monday that he hadn't decided how he'd cast his vote this time.

If she's confirmed by the Senate, Jackson will become the first Black woman ever to sit on the nation's highest court, and Democrats likely have the necessary votes without GOP support.

Romney appeared to criticize some of his Republican colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee over their questioning of Jackson, saying they were "preparing for their presidential campaign" and were "doing the things you have to do to get on TV."

The senator called for "more respect for one another" and said that "sometimes the rhetoric was a little hot" before Hunt asked him about his decision on Jackson. She noted he had voted against her confirmation to the appeals court last year.

"I have begun a deeper dive - a much deeper dive - than I had during the prior evaluation," Romney said. "And, in this case as well, she's gone into much more depth talking about her judicial philosophy than she had before and we're of course looking at her judicial record as a district judge and as an appellate judge in far more depth than we had before."

"I'll complete that analysis and then reach a decision but I've not reached my decision," the senator said.

Romney was speaking to Hunt as part of her new show for CNN's streaming service, CNN+.

The Senate is currently divided between 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the Democrats. Though the Democrats' majority is razor thin and has at times depended on Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote, it appears likely Jackson will be confirmed with relative ease after moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he would support her.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on Jackson's nomination on Monday, April 4 and that vote is likely to fall along party lines with 11 members in favor and 11 against, sending the issue to the full Senate.

A Senate vote is expected take place on Thursday or Friday next week to confirm her as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court.

Jackson was confirmed to the Court of the Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on June 14, 2021, by a vote of 53 to 44, with four senators not voting. Three Republicans voted in favor of her confirmation - Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lisa Murkwoski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine.

Those three senators, along with Romney, are seen as the most likely Republicans to back Jackson, though they have not yet announced their decisions on the matter.

Newsweek has asked Senator Romney's office for comment.

Mitt Romney Speaks at a Senate Committee
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on January 11, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Romney has said he hasn't yet decided if he'll vote in favor of Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the Supreme Court. Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images