Maine’s two U.S. senators praised retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on Wednesday and said they look forward to beginning the process of considering his replacement and confirming the next member of the nation’s highest court.

Breyer, who is 83 and considered a pragmatic member of the court’s liberal wing, announced Wednesday that he plans to retire soon, giving President Biden time to nominate a replacement and win Senate approval before the midterm elections in November.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins learned about Breyer’s announcement after touring a business in Scarborough on Wednesday and said she was sorry to see Breyer, whom she called a friend, leave the court. Collins said Breyer had pushed back against the politicization of the Supreme Court.

Collins also said she looks forward to seeing whom President Biden nominates to replace Breyer. Maine’s senior senator said she will use her normal process for deciding whether to vote for confirmation, which normally includes a one-on-one meeting with the nominee.

Sen. Angus King, an independent, also praised the outgoing justice, saying in a written statement that Breyer “has served the nation with thought, skill and dedication over his nearly 28-year tenure” on the court.

King said he also looks forward to seeing whom Biden nominates for the court “and making a judgment on his or her qualifications to serve on the highest court in the land.”

King has voted no on all three Supreme Court nominees that have come before the Senate since he has been a member. All three were nominated by President Trump and were confirmed by Republican majorities in the Senate: Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

Collins has voted to confirm six of the seven nominees who have come before the Senate during her time in office.

She voted no on Barrett, the newest member of the court. She voted yes on Gorsuch and was the deciding yes vote for Kavanaugh. She also voted to confirm the four nominees that came before her during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidencies: Samuel Alito, John G. Roberts, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor.

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