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Brett Kavanaugh Moves A Step Closer To The Supreme Court As Democrats Voice Concern

Oct 5, 2018
Originally published on October 5, 2018 11:04 pm
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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

After weeks of bitter partisanship, after emotional and angry testimonies, after impassioned speeches for the nominee, against the nominee, Brett Kavanaugh now appears to have the votes to become the next Supreme Court justice. It happened close to 4 o'clock today on the Senate floor with this declaration.

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SUSAN COLLINS: Mr. President, I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

That was Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican who laid out her case in a speech that lasted more than 40 minutes. She began with a review of Kavanaugh's qualifications and spoke of why she believes he is more moderate than he has been portrayed. Finally, she turned to the allegations of sexual assault against him.

KELLY: Senator Collins said she believes that Christine Blasey Ford is a survivor of sexual assault, but she said the allegations against Kavanaugh, for her, failed to meet a standard of more likely than not.

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COLLINS: In evaluating any given claim a misconduct, we will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness - tempting though it may be. We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed, that fairness is most in jeopardy.

KELLY: Collins was the last of the Republican holdouts to announce her decision.

SHAPIRO: Shortly after she spoke, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the only Democrat to vote yes in a procedural vote this morning, said he will vote yes again tomorrow when the Senate is expected to hold the final vote. Manchin spoke to reporters over the shouts of protesters.

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UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) Shame. Shame. Shame.

JOE MANCHIN: I'm very much concerned basically with the sexual abuse that people have had to endure and very much concerned that we have to do something as a country. But I had to deal with the facts I had in front of me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.