U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said she will vote to confirm U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, according to a statement this afternoon.

Kagan, who was selected by President Obama to replace the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, previously served as the U.S. Solicitor General. Collins voted to approve Kagan for that post in 2009.

“I believe it is critical for nominees to have a judicial philosophy that is devoid of prejudgment, partisanship and preference,” Collins, R-Maine, said in a statement. “I have applied these standards to Elena Kagan. Having analyzed her record, questioned her personally and reviewed the Judiciary Committee’s hearings, I have concluded that Ms. Kagan should be confirmed to our nation’s highest court.”

Collins said Kagan has taken positions she opposes, such as on gun rights, but that Kagan expressed appropriate respect for “settled law” that clearly establish individuals’ right to bear arms.

Collins’ announcement makes her the third Republican to break with her party to back President Barack Obama’s nominee to succeed retired Justice John Paul Stevens.

GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Richard Lugar of Indiana did so earlier this week.

An official confirmation vote for Kagan has not yet been scheduled.