Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine on Friday said that she would vote for Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court—a move that clears the way for him to be confirmed when the Senate takes its final vote on Saturday.
Collins had been one of two remaining undecided Senators, and immediately after her announcement on Friday, the other Senator, Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, also said he would support Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh, who has faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct in recent weeks, needs 50 votes to be confirmed, as Vice President Mike Pence can break a 50-50 tie in the Senate. But after Collins, Manchin, and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake all said on Friday they would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, the Senate will likely not need a tie-breaker.
Collins explained her reasoning for supporting Kavanaugh in a 45-minute speech on the Senate floor Friday afternoon, detailing the nominee’s judicial record and discussing the sexual misconduct allegations against him. She said that while she took seriously the testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, Collins did not see evidence that should prevent Kavanaugh from serving on the court.
“I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life,” Collins said of Ford. “Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred.”
She added, “I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the Court.”
Read the full transcript of Collins’ remarks below: