Collins Announces Support for Kavanaugh, Ensuring Confirmation

Kavanaugh writes in op-ed that he may have been ‘too emotional’ in senate testimony: WSJ

When Sen. Susan Collins spoke on the Senate floor to announce she would vote for his confirmation, protesters began chanting: "Vote no, show up for ME women".

Over the past few weeks, she had been a target of liberal groups who had raised money they say they'll give to her opponent in her next re-election in 2020.

Speaking to NPR after Collins and Manchin announced their support for Kavanaugh, a lawyer for Ford addressed whether the California professor feels she failed because confirmation is now a near certainty.

That would put the final tally at 51-49 in Kavanaugh's favor. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced in a statement that he too will support the nomination when it comes up for a final vote. Republicans have a slim 51-49 hold on the Senate. Jeff Flake's favorability numbers in his home state of Arizona did something weird.

In the end, Collins and Murkowski diverged. Daines, who voted to move forward with Kavanaugh's nomination, also predicted there would be a new Supreme Court justice.

The full Senate voted to advance Kavanaugh for a confirmation vote, slated for Saturday afternoon.

"I do not believe that those charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court", Collins said.

While acknowledging that Blasey Ford's testimony was "sincere, painful and compelling", Collins added: "We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness".

Murkowski chose the opposite path.

The one thing you wouldn't do is destroy Judge Kavanaugh's life for no good reason.

"With Leader McConnell's cloture filing, senators have been given ample time to review this seventh background investigation", Shah said.

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Do the senators have to vote the same way on a final vote? "All the sympathy I'm seeing right now for Brett Kavanuagh, while she's being mocked, while she's being demeaned", he said.

Official Twitter account of the Women's March labels Senator Susan Collins a 'rape apologist'. Senators were allowed to read it behind closed doors in a secure location in the Capitol, without taking notes or making copies. Steve Daines to stay at his daughter's wedding in his home state instead of flying to Washington to cast his supporting vote. Murkowski said she'd use an obscure procedure that lets one senator offset the absence of another without affecting the outcome.

Collins was one of the undecided votes in the judge's controversial nomination. She was re-elected in 2016.

Kavanaugh's nomination has been imperiled by accusations of sexual misconduct.

On the Senate floor, he witheringly called the accusations "uncorroborated mud".

"I don't know what other interference we should draw from your refusal but that the withheld evidence does not support Dr. Ford's allegations in quite the way you have claimed", Grassley wrote.

Even so, Collins said she hopes the ugly fight over Kavanaugh's confirmation will raise awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual assault.

Kavanaugh's confirmation would likely swing the court rightward in its judicial leanings - but that's not what protesters have been most concerned with Friday. He is a thoughtful jurist with a proven respect for the Constitution and with extensive experience as a federal appeals judge.

On Friday the Senate voted along party lines to remove the last obstacle to holding a decisive vote this weekend. But it wasn't clear at the time that she would be a "yes"' for the nominee.

Three of the four voted for cloture to advance Kavanaugh - Flake, Collins and, surprisingly to some, Manchin.

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