Republican Senator Susan Collins has just announced she will vote “yes” on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Justice. While the final Senate vote has yet to happen, Collins’ announcement means the Republicans will most likely have the majority they need to confirm Kavanaugh. The Senate only has a 51-49 Republican majority, and Collins was considered one of the potential swing voters due to her support of Roe v. Wade and the potential for it to be overturned if Kavanaugh were on the bench. Even if the vote comes down to 50-50, Vice President Mike Pence will be the tie-breaker, and he will vote in favor of Kavanaugh.
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Kavanaugh has been publicly accused of sexual assault by several women and participated in a public hearing with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has alleged Kavanaugh assaulted her in high school. After the hearing, the FBI conducted a brief investigation into the sexual assault allegations. Once the FBI report was submitted, Collins said she thought, “It appears to be a very thorough investigation.” (Some criticized the report since the FBI did not question Dr. Ford, Kavanaugh, or several people who claim to have information about Kavanaugh and his character.)
During her announcement, Collins made it clear she believes Kavanaugh would not overturn Roe v. Wade due to his belief in judicial precedent.
The full Senate will now vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, which could occur as early as Saturday. Judge Brett Kavanaugh would be replacing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.