Republican Sen. Susan Collins said on Friday that she plans to support Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, an announcement that has put the nomination on track for confirmation.
“I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh,” the Maine senator said in a Senate floor speech that lasted for more than 40 minutes.
With Collins planning to vote for Kavanaugh, it appears that Senate Republicans have the votes needed for final confirmation. Within moments of her announcement, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced he would support Kavanaugh, shoring up enough votes to confirm his nomination.
In a sign of how tense the fight over the nomination has become, just before Collins had a chance to give her speech, chants of “Show up for Maine women, vote no” broke out in the Senate chamber.
Collins said that she believes that Christine Blasey Ford, who testified last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the early 1980s, “is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life.”
But, she argued that ultimately the allegation was not corroborated.
“The four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred,” she said. Kavanaugh himself has vehemently denied the allegation.
“I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court,” the senator concluded.