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by Daveda Gruber:

On Friday Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va  said they intend to vote in favor of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. They are two crucial votes that are appearing to secure Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the nation’s highest court.

Collins made her announcement on the floor of the Senate hours after the chamber voted 51-49 to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to a final vote on Saturday evening.

Right after Collins spoke on the Senate floor and announced her intention to vote, Manchin said in a statement he would also vote to confirm Kavanaugh.

Manchin said he had “reservations” due to sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh and his temperament.

Manchin said, “I believe he will rule in a manner that is consistent with our Constitution.”

Collins said the confirmation had resembled a “caricature of a gutter-level political campaign.” She criticized Democrats for announcing their opposition to Kavanaugh before his name was even announced. She also condemned outside groups for distorting Kavanaugh’s record and “over-the-top rhetoric.”

When she began her speech, she was interrupted by protesters urging her to vote “no.”

The Senate was flooded by protesters in the days leading up to the vote, with activists hounding Republicans and trying to influence them to vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Protestors were upset and referencing decades old sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh by women who came out of the woodwork.

She said that Kavanaugh would not be a partisan judge. She brought up he had ruled in favor of parts of ObamaCare and ruled against a Bush-era terror conviction. She also said she was secure in her knowledge that Kavanaugh would not overturn Roe v Wade. That is the 1973 decision that found a constitutional right to abortion. She also rejected concerns by Democrats about his temperament.

Collins, who was one of four key undecided senators, were closely watched for how they would vote.

Collins, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., voted to invoke cloture on the nomination earlier Friday.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, voted “no,” in a move suggesting she may vote against Kavanaugh on Saturday.

With a 51-49 majority in the Senate, Republicans can’t afford more than one defection if all Democrats were to vote together.

Manchin’s vote for Kavanaugh gives Republicans some cushion. The White House believes it has the votes to confirm Kavanaugh.

Personally, I won’t be happy until I see it for myself. I think I may get a beer ready to crack open after Kavanaugh is confirmed. I don’t really drink beer but I’ll make an exception.

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