October 8, 2018
In a déjà vu moment for the Trump administration, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) once again supported her GOP colleagues—and disappointed liberals nationwide—on a crucial vote on October 5.
Just as she had promised to say “nay” on both the healthcare and tax reform bills—and then waffled at the last minute—Collins said on Friday afternoon that she would vote to seat nominee Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court after she previously admitted to serious doubts about his honesty and allegations against him of sexual assault.
As late in the process as October 4, Collins had insinuated that she might not be a swing vote, saying that the supplemental FBI investigation, which probed the allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, was “very thorough.”
Earlier in the day Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) had announced her intention to vote against an administrative motion to move forward Friday morning—later calling the cloture vote “a mistake.” Had Collins also supported that same position, Kavanaugh would not have had the support on the floor to win the October 6 vote.
A small handful of legislators — Collins, Murkowski, Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), and Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) had been considered potential swing votes on Kavanaugh up until Friday morning. But both Flake and Manchin both voted “yes” to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the floor, leaving Collins as the only possible outlier.
However, referring to the “outlandish allegation” made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Senator Collins said that certain fundamental issues, including the “presumption of innocence,” should come into play.
She also noted that nobody had corroborated Ford’s statements during the abbreviated and circumscribed FBI investigation started on September 28. “None of the individuals Professor Ford says were at the party has any recollections at all of that night,” she said, explaining her decision to vote for Kavanaugh.
Research contact: @thomcraver