According to The Hill, Collins is the one person who will make or break Kavanaugh’s opportunity to become a Supreme Court justice. It turns out that many senators of both parties are waiting to see what Collins decides to do on the Kavanaugh nomination before they announce their own decisions.
As Fox News reported yesterday, eight GOP senators have not announced where they stand on Kavanaugh, and four of them are definitely undecided: Collins, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee.
All Republican senators will be forced to make their decisions known if Mitch McConnell holds a floor vote on Kavanaugh.
And according to The Hill, “Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) has asked centrist members of his caucus to keep their powder dry on Kavanaugh until they know where all Republicans stand.”
Kavanaugh will have no chance to be confirmed if Collins says she believes Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her at a high school party in 1982. However, if Collins rejects Ford’s accusations and announces support for Kavanaugh, Democrats will have no chance to stop the nomination.
Yesterday Collins added a new wrinkle to this week’s drama when she said that she wanted the second Kavanaugh accuser to also testify before the Judiciary Committee.
According to The Hill, Collins said, “I believe that the committee investigators should reach out to Deborah Ramirez to question her under oath about what she is alleging happened.”
Although powerful senators on the Judiciary Committee — such as chairman Chuck Grassley — didn’t want Ford to testify at first, and definitely don’t want Ramirez to testify either, they don’t seem to be calling the shots — Collins does. Increasingly it appears that the Maine senators is in charge of the process.
Senate Republican aides think that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will likely vote the same way as Collins, according to The Hill.
“We’re talking about a jury of one: Susan Collins,” said an unnamed senior Republican. “When you look at Murkowski and even Flake, no one lets Collins get to the left of them, so she’s going to be the lodestar here.”
“There is a 51 percent chance of Collins voting for Kavanaugh,” the source added. However, that percentage could change based on Thursday’s testimony, or if new credible allegations surface in the next few days.
One thing is certain, though. No matter what Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell or Chuck Grassley think, it is Susan Collins’ opinion that matters most.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.