Maine Sen. Susan Collins Announces Her Position On The Kavanaugh Nomination

Maine Sen. Susan Collins Announces Her Position On The Kavanaugh Nomination

Maine Sen. Susan Collins Announces Her Position On The Kavanaugh Nomination

While Democratic lawmakers excoriated Kavanaugh in the run up to the confirmation vote, three of his "drinking buddies" from Yale wrote an oped saying he essentially lied before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his binge drinking and that he was unfit for the Supreme Court bench.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that "We can salvage some decency here at the end", by rejecting Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

Senators including Collins have been swamped by reporters and protesters in the runup to the Kavanaugh confirmation votes.

If confirmed, Kavanaugh would tip the balance on the court to a 5-4 majority in favour of conservatives in possible legal battles ahead over contentious issues such as abortion rights, immigration, and Trump's attempt to ban transgender people from the USA military.

Mr Kavanaugh vehemently denies the accusation which led to an FBI investigation.

A Collins spokeswoman said Friday that while Collins would vote yes to proceed, the Maine Republican was still undecided on the final vote. He was referring to the refusal of Republicans to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama's nomination to succeed Scalia, Merrick Garland. "We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy".

A hefty police presence added an air of anxiety, as did thousands of anti-Kavanaugh demonstrators. Kristin Fisher has the latest from Capitol Hill.

It's all expected to conclude Saturday afternoon with a final roll call nearly solidly along party lines. The roll call was ending a contest fought against the backdrop of the.MeToo movement and Trump's unyielding support of his nominee.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who's repeatedly battled Trump and will retire in January, said he'd vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation "unless something big changes".

Remember, Manchin is a Democrat up for reelection in less than five weeks in a state that President Trump won by 40 percentage points.

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Ben Sasse, who as expected, announced he was supporting the nomination.

"I can see 2022 from my house", Sarah Palin tweeted on Friday afternoon, mentioning Murkowski. Flake's office, chanting "the system is corrupt, that's why we disrupt" and went to Manchin's office.

Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate. Flake spent a large portion of the afternoon reviewing the Federal Bureau of Investigation work and said he saw no new evidence to corroborate any of the claims against Kavanaugh, which Flake had previously indicated would mean he will vote to confirm. Afterward, she sat silently and stiffly against her seat, until she chatted with Sen. A source familiar with the lobbying efforts to confirm Kavanaugh told Fox News that the White House believes it has the votes to confirm Kavanaugh. "It just may be that in my view he's not the right man for the court at this time", Murkowski told reporters. "And that is hard".

But logistically and politically, Maine Republican Susan Collins could be the most important vote in deciding whether Kavanaugh is eventually confirmed this weekend.

Vice-President Mike Pence planned to be available Saturday in case his tie-breaking vote was needed. The 51-to-49 vote was largely along party lines, with Joe Manchin the only Democrat to vote in favor of advancing the nomination and Republican Lisa Murkowski voting "no".

The debate sparked smoldering resentment by partisans on both sides, on and off the Senate floor.

But Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer cryptically said he disagrees with Republican statements that the report showed "no hint of misconduct" by Kavanaugh - prompting reporters to ask Schumer what he meant before he walked away without another word.

'Never before have we had a nominee display such flagrant partisanship and open hostility at a hearing, ' said Feinstein of California.

On the other side, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY called the fight "a sorry epilogue to the brazen theft of Justice Scalia's seat".

Injecting even more uncertainty into the process is the fact that Republican Sen. They also sought to paint him as a justice that would swing the court deeply to the right.

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