In a single, horrific speech in front of the Senate this afternoon, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who has fashioned herself as both a moderate and one of the few pro-choice Republicans left in the Senate, showed us who she’s always been, and announced she will vote for Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, thus ensuring his confirmation to the bench.
After the beginning of Collins’ long, drawn-out, bullshit speech was interrupted by protesters imploring her to vote no, she compared the confirmation to a “gutter level political campaign,” and complained about interest groups opposing Kavanaugh’s nomination from the beginning. She also emphasized that Democrats had made up their mind prior to Kavanaugh being announced, which uh, makes sense considering we had Trump’s shortlist prior to Kavanaugh’s nomination. “One can only hope that the Kavanaugh confirmation is where the process has finally hit rock bottom,” she said.
Collins then took a very long time to defend Kavanaugh’s judicial record across a range of issues, including patient protections under the Affordable Care Act, executive privilege, LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights. She also spoke about Kavanaugh’s “rave reviews” and cited the American Bar Association’s reviews of Kavanaugh as one example, which is interesting considering the ABA announced earlier today that it’s re-opening its evaluation of Kavanaugh.
Eventually, Collins spoke about the “tailspin” that the confirmation process went into after the revelation of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, but said she “will not abandon” her principles of “due process and fairness.”
“I worry that departing from the presumption [of innocence]...would be hugely damaging to the confirmation process moving forward,” Collins said. “Mr. President, I listened carefully to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony. I found her testimony to be sincere, painful, and compelling. I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault, and that this trauma has upended her right. Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred.” (This is bullshit, by the way.)
“My fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court, so we have fewer 5-4 decisions, and so public confidence in our judiciary is restored,” she said. “Mr. President, I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.” She then got applause from other Republican senators on the floor.
With Collins’ decision, Kavanaugh’s confirmation is all but a foregone conclusion. While GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted against cloture, indicating she’ll likely vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination on Saturday, earlier today, Sen. Jeff Flake indicated he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh. And while two Democrats who voted for Neil Gorsuch, Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp, have announced they’re voting no, another, Sen. Joe Manchin, issued a press release immediately following Collins’ speech to say that he will be backing Kavanaugh too.
Fuck Susan Collins, fuck Joe Manchin, fuck the Senate, fuck this horrible government, and, last but not least, fuck Brett Kavanaugh.