WASHINGTON – Republicans look to have enough votes to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after Sen. Susan Collins said she would back him in a speech on the Senate floor Friday.
The reaction was swift from both sides of the aisle. Protesters were near tears while Republicans rallied around the Maine Republican.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Collins went over all the arguments against Kavanaugh, including his judicial record and the allegations of sexual assault. She explained her thought process and why these arguments did not hold merit in her eyes.
She said while she believed Christine Blasey Ford, who alleged Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager, the allegations “fail to meet the ‘more likely than not'” standard. She said she believes voting against Kavanaugh without witnesses or proof could start a “dangerous” precedent.
“I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh,” Collins said, ending her speech.
Collins had faced fierce pressure from both sides of the aisle over the last several weeks as Kavanaugh’s nomination moved through the Senate Judiciary Committee. Before her comments on the Senate floor, Collins had lunch with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
While giving her nearly 45-minute speech, senators Cindy Hyde-Smith, Shelley Moore Capito and Joni Ernst, all Kavanaugh supporters, sat behind her in support.
“I thought it was beautiful. She did a wonderful job. I’m very proud of the diligence she put into it,” Ernst said after Collins finished.
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