Republican Sen. Susan Collins on Friday said she would vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, ending months of speculation from the crucial swing senator.
“Mr. President, I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh,” Collins said at the very end of a nearly 45-minute-long speech on the Senate floor.
Minutes after Collins’ speech concluded, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said that he, too, would vote for Kavanaugh.
“Based on all of the information I have available to me, including the recently completed FBI report, I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him,” Manchin said in a statement.
“I had to deal with the facts I had in front of me,” Manchin told reporters over shouts of “Shame!” from protesters in the hallway.
Collins revealed her decision Friday afternoon, hours after a key procedural vote in the confirmation process.
Collins voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination in the 51-49 vote, which saw divisions largely along party lines. The only exceptions were Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who voted no, and Manchin, who voted yes.
“I believe he is a good man,” Murkowski said afterward. “It just may be that, in my view, he’s not the right man for the court at this time.”
Collins’ remarks on the Senate floor Friday afternoon, scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET, were initially delayed after protesters began shouting in the Senate gallery, chanting “Vote No! Show up for Maine women!”