Collins, Manchin say they will vote to confirm Kavanaugh – live updates

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Collins says she will vote to confirm Kavanaugh

Maine Sen. Susan Collins said she would vote to confirm Kavanaugh on the Senate floor. Collins is considered a key swing vote.

Collins said that she had extensively reviewed the record from his 12 years as a D.C. District Court judge. She also said she had met with thousands of her constituents, including proponents and opponents of Kavanaugh. She then offered counterarguments to criticism of Kavanaugh: she doesn’t believe he overturn the Affordable Care Act, or that he would have an expansive view of presidential power in his rulings.

“Judge Kavanaugh has been unequivocal in his belief that no president is above the law,” she said.

Collins did not mention the allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh until around 30 minutes into her speech.

“Certain fundamental legal principles about due process, presumption of innocence and fairness do bear on my thinking and I cannot abandon them,” she said. Of the allegations, she said, “I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court.”

She suggested that Ford may have been manipulated by Democrats, especially the person who may have leaked her initial letter detailing her allegations against Kavanaugh.

In her speech, Collins called the confirmation process “dysfunctional.” She talked about how certain Democratic groups and senators had immediately opposed Kavanaugh.

Republican Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Cindy Hyde-Smith sat behind her.

“Our Supreme Court confirmation process has been in steady decline for more than 30 years. One can only hope that the Kavanaugh nomination is where the process has finally hit rock bottom,” she said.

As soon as Collins began speaking, protesters began chanting: “Vote no, show up for Maine women.”

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