Collins, Manchin say 'aye,' appearing to cement Kavanaugh confirmation
Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va on Friday said they intend to vote in favor of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation — two essential votes that appear to secure Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the nation’s highest court.
Moments right after Collins spoke on the Senate floor announcing her intention to vote for the nominee, Manchin said in a statement he would also vote to confirm Kavanaugh as properly. Manchin mentioned while he had "reservations" due to sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh and his temperament, he stated "I think he will rule in a manner that is constant with our Constitution."
Collins said the confirmation had resembled a "caricature of a gutter-level political campaign" and criticized Democrats for announcing their opposition to Kavanaugh before his name was even announced. She also criticized outdoors groups for distorting Kavanaugh’s record and "over-the-best rhetoric."
As she started her speech, she was interrupted by protesters urging her to vote "no." The Senate was flooded by protesters in the days leading up to the vote, with activists hounding Republicans and urging them to vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation, citing decades-old sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. Protesters also yelled "shame" at Manchin right after his statement.
Collins dismissed claims that Kavanaugh would be a partisan judge, noted he had ruled in favor of components of ObamaCare and ruled against a Bush-era terror conviction. She also mentioned she was assured that Kavanaugh would not overturn Roe v Wade — the 1973 selection that discovered a constitutional proper to abortion. She also rejected concerns by Democrats about his temperament and that he was out of the judicial mainstream.
Collins created her announcement on the floor of the Senate hours following the chamber voted 51-49 to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to a final vote on Saturday evening. Collins was 1 of four crucial undecided senators who were closely watched for how they would vote. Collins — along with Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., voted to invoke cloture on the nomination earlier Friday. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, voted "no," in a move suggesting she may vote against Kavanaugh on Saturday. Flake had suggested he would vote "yes" for Kavanaugh "unless something massive changes."
With a 51-49 majority in the Senate, Republicans can not afford more than a single defection if all Democrats had been to vote with each other, but Manchin’s "yes" provides the Republicans a cushion. If Collins, Manchin and Flake vote "aye" and Murkowski votes "nay" that would give Kavanaugh 51 votes. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., could be absent as he is attending his daughter’s wedding on Saturday. Had been that the case, it would be 50-49, which would be sufficient to confirm Kavanaugh with no a tie-breaking vote needing to be cast by Vice President Mike Pence.
ALL EYES ON MURKOWSKI, COLLINS, FLAKE AND MANCHIN AS SENATE BARRELS TOWARD FINAL KAVANAUGH VOTE
Kavanaugh’s nomination was embroiled in a controversy that gripped the nation following several ladies made sexual assault allegations originating from his time in higher school and college. The most prominent allegation was from California professor Christine Blasey Ford, who mentioned that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a higher school party. That allegation resulted in a higher-stakes Senate Judiciary hearing last week exactly where each Ford and Kavanaugh testified.
Democrats mentioned the allegations had been credible and deserved a complete investigation, whilst Republicans accused Democrats of making use of uncorroborated allegations to scuttle or delay the nomination — major to a stream of angry flashpoints amongst lawmakers. The accusations ultimately led to President Trump ordering an FBI investigation. Republicans who had observed the FBI’s report stated the FBI had made no credible corroboration of the allegations.
On those accusations, Collins mentioned the Senate would be "ill-served in the long-term if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, as tempting as it may possibly be." She pointed to what she saw as inconsistencies and lack of corroboration in Ford’s story and mentioned they fail to meet the "more likely than not" regular. She also mentioned that these trying to defeat Kavanaugh’s nomination "cared tiny if at all" about Ford’s properly becoming.
Collinsਊlso made reference toਊllegations by Julie Swetnick that Kavanaugh drugged girls and was present during gang rapes.
"This outlandish allegation was place forth without having any credible supporting proof and simply parroted public statements of other people," she stated. "That such an allegation can find its way into the Supreme Court procedure is a stark reminder of why the presumption of innocence is so ingrained in our American conscience."
Protesters clashed with Republican lawmakers in an effort to sway their votes, and initially appeared to have some accomplishment. Flake demanded the restricted FBI investigation last week after becoming cornered in an elevator by screaming protesters moments just before a Senate Judiciary Committee vote to advocate Kavanaugh’s nomination. Republicans and conservatives had pushed back, like placing out advertisements that suggested the fight over accusations against Kavanaugh had implications for males across America.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said early Friday that the vote was "a pivotal day for us right here in the Senate."
"The ideals of justice that have served our nation for so long are on show," he stated, calling the last two weeks a "disgraceful spectacle."
But Democrats had pointed to not only the sexual assault allegations, which they described” but also inquiries about Kavanaugh’s temperament in the course of the hearing final week and whether or not he had lied about his drinking during higher college and college, and what certain references in his high school yearbook meant. They also sought to paint him as a justice that would swing the court deeply to the proper.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, accused Kavanaugh of being evasive in his answers for the duration of his confirmation hearings on essential subjects. He said his views are �ply at odds with the progress America has created in the final century of jurisprudence and at odds with what most Americans believe.”
Fox News’ Alex Pappas, Chad Pergram, John Roberts and Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.
Published at Fri, 05 Oct 2018 19:51:56 +0000