Calling on Democrats to “resist the temptation to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee who is unquestionably qualified,” U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said Tuesday she supports the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to fill a U.S. Supreme Court seat that’s been vacant for more than a year.

After praising Gorsuch, the Maine Republican warned colleagues that “playing politics with judicial nominees is profoundly damaging to the Senate’s reputation and stature.

“It politicizes our judicial nomination process and threatens the independence of our courts, which are supposed to be above partisan politics,” she said. “Perhaps most important, it undermines the public’s confidence in our judiciary.”

Maine’s other senator, independent Angus King, has not said how he plans to vote on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Gorsuch to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last year.

State Sen. Shenna Bellows, D-Manchester, denounced Collins on Twitter, saying she “put party over her pro-choice, pro-environment voters” by endorsing Gorsuch.

Democrats have generally offered little criticism of Gorsuch. Their complaints have mostly focused on the way the Senate GOP refused last year even to consider President Barack Obama’s selection for the seat, Merrick Garland.

Collins said she has “not heard one senator suggest that Judge Gorsuch lacks the intellectual ability, academic credentials, integrity, temperament or experience to serve on the United States Supreme Court.”

“It’s time for the Senate to rise above partisanship and allow each and every senator to cast an up or down vote on this nominee,” she said, using words that echoed those used by Democrats last year as they tried without success to get at least a Judiciary Committee hearing for Garland.

Collins said last year she thought the Senate “should follow the regular order in considering” Garland.

Collins, the state’s senior senator, said, “It has become Senate practice of late to filibuster almost every question before this body simply as a matter of course. But that would be a serious mistake in this case, and it would further erode the ability of this great institution to function.”

She pointed out that in 2005, when the Senate “was mired in debate over how to proceed on judicial nominations,” she joined a bipartisan group that “proposed a simple and reasonable standard. That group, of which I was proud to have been a part, declared that for federal court nominations, a senator should only support a filibuster in the case of extraordinary circumstances.”

Republicans may eliminate the option of a filibuster on Supreme Court nominees if they can’t come up with the 60 votes needed to close debate and make a decision on Gorsuch. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has vowed to filibuster Gorsuch.

King said Schumer’s declaration “does not impact my approach to Judge Gorsuch’s nomination, which has always been to carefully review his record, follow his confirmation hearing closely, hear from Maine people, and then arrive at an independent judgment based upon what I think is in the best interests of Maine and the nation.”

Mainers for Accountable Leadership, a grass-roots progressive group, said Tuesday it expects Collins “will hold with tradition and vote for upholding the long-standing rules of the Senate as she has done in the past. Voting to change the rules now would be hypocritical.”

Given Gorsuch’s record as an appellate judge and the wide support he has in legal circles, Collins said he deserves to be appointed.

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