After giving a 43-minute speech on the Senate floor on Friday afternoon, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) confirmed that she will vote to confirm Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh,” the 65-year-old senator said as she closed her remarks and walked off the floor.
Collins spent much of her speech extolling Kavanaugh’s record as a judge, explaining exactly why she thought he would be a good pick for the Supreme Court.
Collins also addressed the accusations brought against Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers.
“I listened carefully to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee. I found her testimony to be sincere, painful and compelling. I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and this trauma has upended her life,” Collins noted. “Nevertheless the four witnesses that she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred.”
“Fairness would dictate that the claims at least should meet a threshold of ‘more likely than not,'” Collins added. “The facts presented do not mean that Professor Ford was not sexually assaulted that night or at some other time, but they do lead me to conclude that the allegations fail the ‘more likely than not’ standard.”
“Therefore I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court,” she said.
Shortly after Collins’ speech ended, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the lone red-state Democrat that was largely undecided, announced that he would be voting to confirm Kavanaugh.
“I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him,” Manchin said via a press release. “I do hope that Judge Kavanaugh will not allow the partisan nature this process took to follow him onto the court.
As Manchin spoke to reporters, he was met with repeated chants of “shame.”
The decision of these two key senators all but ensures that Kavanaugh has all the votes needed to be confirmed in a floor vote that is expected on Saturday.