Susan Collins just made Brett Kavanaugh a Supreme Court justice

Susan Collins ended the drama of Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court just before 4 p.m. Easte...

Posted: Oct 7, 2018 10:03 AM
Updated: Oct 7, 2018 10:03 AM

Susan Collins ended the drama of Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court just before 4 p.m. Eastern time Friday.

That's the moment when, after a looooooong speech explaining her thought process, the Maine Republican senator announced she would support Kavanaugh in the final vote on Saturday.

Brett Kavanaugh

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Political Figures - US

Politics

Susan Collins

US federal court system

US federal government

US Supreme Court

"My fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court so we have far fewer 5-4 decisions and so that public confidence in our judiciary and our highest court is restored," Collins said, before delivering the final line of her about 45-minute floor speech: "Mr. President, I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh."

Collins became the 50th Republican to support Kavanaugh, meaning that, if necessary, Vice President Mike Pence could break the tie in his favor in tomorrow's final vote. (Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is expected to be the lone Republican to vote against Kavanaugh). Immediately following Collins' speech, Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia said in a statement that he would vote "yes" as well.

Collins' "yes" effectively ends a process that began in early July, when President Donald Trump announced that Kavanaugh was his pick to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh's confirmation seemed to be on a glide path until two weeks ago, when a woman named Christine Blasey Ford came forward alleging that the judge had sexually assaulted her when they were both teenagers.

After another hearing -- in which Ford and Kavanaugh both insisted they were 100% certain that the attack had and had not occurred, respectively -- and a five-day-long FBI investigation into the charges, Kavanaugh is set to make it to the nation's highest court sometime late Saturday afternoon.

His ascension is a major victory for Trump, who ran on the idea that electing him meant the chance to fundamentally reshape the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court. By putting Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch on the bench, Trump has done that before he is even halfway through his term. The Supreme Court is now solidly 5-4 in favor of conservatives -- and could be for years (or decades) to come.

It is also a major victory for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who never wavered in pushing for Kavanaugh's confirmation even amid the chaos that defined the fight over the past fortnight.

The political consequences of Kavanaugh's confirmation remain to be seen. The past two weeks have seen a surge in Republican enthusiasm -- as base voters are invigorated by the sense that Democrats are trying to smear a good man over wholly uncorroborated allegations.

Women, a large majority of whom already view Trump in a negative light, have also been activated by this fight -- and are promising consequences for this vote at the midterm ballot box in 31 days' time.

The Point: Kavanaugh will be on the Supreme Court. And Collins' vote to put him there will almost certainly be the most consequential -- and controversial -- of her career.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74992

Reported Deaths: 3044
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15963725
Lake7632275
Elkhart488385
Allen3937163
St. Joseph354682
Hamilton2803104
Vanderburgh199713
Hendricks1901108
Cass17969
Johnson1767118
Porter133839
Clark124447
Tippecanoe122111
Madison98765
LaPorte92130
Howard90565
Kosciusko86212
Bartholomew80147
Floyd79146
Marshall79022
Monroe75930
Delaware73852
Dubois70012
Noble68429
Boone68346
Hancock67038
Vigo66810
Jackson5885
Warrick58630
LaGrange55910
Shelby55827
Grant52830
Dearborn50828
Morgan48334
Clinton4403
Henry38520
Wayne37710
White37210
Montgomery35421
Lawrence35027
Harrison34123
Decatur33832
Putnam2908
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25134
Jasper2452
Franklin24314
DeKalb2354
Gibson2284
Jennings22612
Steuben2113
Ripley2087
Carroll1932
Fayette1907
Perry18612
Starke1787
Posey1770
Orange17324
Wells1712
Wabash1703
Fulton1692
Jefferson1652
Knox1590
Whitley1546
Tipton14311
Washington1421
Spencer1363
Sullivan1341
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1234
Newton11810
Adams1022
Jay920
Owen911
Pulaski831
Rush804
Brown741
Fountain742
Blackford652
Ohio655
Benton620
Pike560
Vermillion550
Parke521
Switzerland520
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren231
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 101731

Reported Deaths: 3673
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18483525
Cuyahoga13640500
Hamilton9689255
Lucas5377323
Montgomery439894
Summit3573223
Butler294463
Marion292945
Mahoning2566254
Pickaway238742
Stark1844139
Warren180339
Lorain180278
Columbiana166560
Trumbull1534107
Fairfield140032
Delaware131619
Licking129949
Clark115814
Lake112438
Wood105858
Clermont94111
Medina93035
Miami85338
Tuscarawas78814
Portage76561
Allen76044
Greene70312
Mercer62513
Belmont62126
Richland60812
Erie59227
Ashtabula57446
Geauga55844
Wayne54458
Ross4904
Darke40229
Huron4015
Ottawa39026
Madison38810
Sandusky38417
Hancock3793
Athens3591
Holmes3286
Lawrence2880
Auglaize2566
Union2541
Muskingum2391
Jefferson2342
Scioto2341
Seneca2223
Putnam20817
Knox2067
Washington20522
Preble2042
Shelby2004
Coshocton1946
Champaign1782
Crawford1745
Morrow1722
Hardin16912
Clinton1656
Highland1591
Logan1552
Ashland1493
Defiance1484
Wyandot1488
Fulton1471
Brown1382
Perry1363
Williams1353
Guernsey1187
Hocking1189
Henry1172
Fayette1150
Carroll1105
Monroe9318
Pike770
Jackson750
Van Wert721
Paulding700
Gallia651
Adams612
Meigs500
Vinton312
Morgan280
Harrison261
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 75°
Angola
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 72°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Van Wert
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Partly Sunny Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events