Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced on Friday afternoon that she will vote for Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, assuring that he will be confirmed to the Supreme Court, despite allegations of sexual assault.
Vice President Mike Pence planned to be available Saturday in case his tie-breaking vote was needed, which now seems unlikely.
Now that Kavanaugh has cleared the procedural vote, his confirmation, political observers believe would be easy, unless a major last-minute hiccup pops up.
But that evolved into a late-summer spectacle after Ford accused Kavanaugh of trying to rape her at an alcohol-infused high school gathering in 1982, when both were teenagers. She said she would vote to move Kavanaugh’s nomination forward, which was met with screaming and accusations by protesters. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the 53-year-old Kavanaugh a victim of “an ugly left-wing smear campaign” and charged Democrats with character assassination. “FBI investigation was done, is completed and Senate voted”.
“We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be”, Collins said in remarks that also addressed the sexual-abuse allegations against Kavanaugh.
Christine Blasey Ford testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on September 27, 2018.
Though Collins certainly understood the seriousness of Dr. Ford’s claims and said she believed Ford’s contention that something happened to her, the senator noted that the evidence does not support Kavanaugh’s guilt.
At this point, it’s hard to see how Democrats have enough support to tank Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Murkowski said later that although she opposes Kavanaugh she will ask to be recorded as “present” during Saturday’s confirmation vote to accommodate Republican Sen.
Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, and Collins, a Republican from ME, said they believed Ford when she said she had been sexually assaulted but that they didn’t think there was corroboration to prove it was Kavanaugh. “I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man”. Two other women later made differing accusations against the nominee.
“We don’t do this a lot, but when it’s a story this momentous, I think you, your voice, your opinion, is a huge part of what we should be talking about here”, Dori said. Like so many Americans, I am deeply disappointed in Senator Collins’ vote for Kavanaugh.
Senators are reviewing the confidential and highly anticipated Federal Bureau of Investigation report, but the general feeling is that the report provided little information that would change any votes.
“From the start of this process, I promised my constituents that I would look seriously at Judge Kavanaugh’s record and cast my vote based on the facts I have before me and what is best for West Virginia”.
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
“Several of my friends who are undecided have not returned my calls in the last day and that typically is a way a senator tells you they’re busy deciding”, Coons said.