GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) said Friday that she will support Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, clinching the votes he needs to be confirmed.
"I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh," Collins said at the end of a roughly 45 minute speech on the Senate floor.
Collins rejected several of the arguments that opponents of Kavanaugh, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, put forth in saying he should not be confirmed, including concerns that he will scale back protections for pre-existing conditions in health insurance and that he would insulate President Trump from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
"Judge Kavanaugh has been unequivocal in his belief that no president is above the law," Collins said.
Collins also dismissed concerns from progressives and Democrats that Kavanaugh would provide a fifth vote for weakening or overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established the right to an abortion. If confirmed, Kavanaugh will succeed former Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was the fifth vote on a 1992 case upholding Roe v. Wade.
"Protecting this right is important to me,” Collins said. “To my knowledge, Judge Kavanaugh is the first Supreme Court nominee to express the view that precedent is not merely a practice and tradition but rooted in Article Three," Collins said.
Collins's decision means Kavanaugh will have at least 50 votes, the amount needed to let Vice President Pence break a tie during a final up-or-down confirmation vote if all senators are voting.
See more at TheHill.com