Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), one of a small number of U.S. Senators who threatened to upend the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, has announced on the Senate floor she intends to vote in favor of the nominee in a scheduled vote this weekend, according to reporting from The Guardian.
Her decision to vote yes likely means that, barring something changing between today and when the final vote takes place, Kavanaugh will become the next justice to sit on the High Court. Another wavering Republican, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, announced he also will vote for Kavanaugh.
Democrats needed at least two Republicans to vote against party lines in order to block Kavanaugh’s appointment. They also needed every Democratic senator to vote against his nomination, although Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) appears to be voting for his confirmation as well, according to a tweet he issued on Twitter on Friday.
Collins gave a speech that lasted just under an hour on the Senate floor explaining her “yes” vote for Kavanaugh. She addressed myriad topics, including fears that Kavanaugh would be a deciding vote on the Court to undo provisions of the Affordable Care Act. She doubted that would be the case, and suggested that fears he could cast a deciding vote to end Roe v. Wade, a decision allowing women the right to an abortion, were not valid either.
Within her speech also, Collins sought to address allegations of sexual assault that have been levied against Kavanaugh by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and others.
Collins sympathized with Ford and with protesters who contacted her office during the past week. She felt Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was “sincere, painful, and compelling, but not enough to convince the senator that Kavanaugh had engaged in the actions, nor enough to change her decision to support his nomination.
“I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent judge Kavanaugh from serving on the Supreme Court,” Collins said.
Collins also lamented the way that the process had devolved over the past few weeks, citing “an unprecedented amount of dark money opposing this confirmation.” She also expressed being upset with the debate being waged across the nation on the matter of accusations made against Kavanaugh, stating that he had been treated unfairly during the entire ordeal.
“We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy,” Collins added.
Collins did take note of the momentous occasion of the rise of the MeToo movement, acknowledging that her office received thousands of calls and contacts from women who had sympathized with Ford. “The MeToo movement is real,” Collins said, explaining that it was something she hoped to continue to persist in the future.
The decision to support Kavanaugh is not one that most Americans agree with. As reporting from CNN in the middle of September demonstrated, more Americans opposed his nomination than supported it,