The Slatest

It Sounds Like Susan Collins Wants to Confirm Brett Kavanaugh

Senator Susan Collins of Maine in the United States Capitol.
Sen. Susan Collins wants to hear the testimony from Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, before deciding how to vote. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, viewed by many as one of the crucial votes in Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation fight, seemed pretty upbeat about the embattled federal judge, telling Showtime in an interview taped Friday that she was “very close” to deciding on her vote.

Collins reaffirmed her belief—despite the massive enthusiasm social conservatives have for Kavanaugh—that Roe v. Wade would remain intact: “I do not believe that he’s going to repeal Roe v. Wade,” but Collins said that she was still undecided on him. “How could I decide before hearing the testimony of professor Ford?” Collins said she was “close, very close, but I’m not all the way there, and professor Ford deserves to be heard.”

While Collins has bucked the Republican majority occasionally (she was one of the three Republican votes that doomed Obamacare’s repeal), she has tended to be supportive of Supreme Court nominations from Democrats and Republicans during her time in the Senate. And while she has praised Kavanaugh, she has also sided with the Republicans most insistent on Christine Ford getting a hearing before the Senate. So we’ll have to wait at least a few more days to find out which way she’ll vote—if she has to at all.

Update, Sept. 24, 6:50 p.m.: Collins has reacted to the latest accusation against Kavanaugh, and she would also like that woman to be heard, though not necessarily in a Senate hearing.