Maine Sen. Susan Collins is being watched closely as a key swing vote in U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
A Republican but pro-abortion, Collins said Friday that she is still undecided about Kavanaugh. She told Showtime that she wants to hear the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, before making a final decision.
“I’m close, I’m very close” to making a decision, Collins said.
Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, more than 30 years ago. She is expected to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Collins said she was still undecided about whether she would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, saying that she first wanted to hear testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman who accused him of sexual assault.
Ford’s account describes a house party when they were both in high school 36 years ago in which an inebriated Kavanaugh molested her and tried to take off her clothes.
Kavanaugh has denied that the events she described took place. Both he and Ford are scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I’m close, I’m very close,” Collins said of where she was on making a decision. “But I’m not all the way there yet. And Prof. Ford deserves to be heard.”
Last week, Collins urged Ford to testify, saying it would “not be fair” to Kavanaugh if she does not.
“I hope that Dr. Ford will reconsider and testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. It is my understanding that the Committee has offered to hold either a public or a private session, whichever would make her more comfortable,” Collins said.
After the Senate scheduled a hearing for Monday, Ford’s attorneys asked that it be re-scheduled for a later date. They also requested a number of other things, including that Kavanaugh testify first and that he not be in the room when Ford testifies.
Collins, one of just two pro-abortion Republicans in the U.S. Senate, has been the target of abortion activists who fear a conservative-majority Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood, NARAL and other pro-abortion groups have been pouring millions of dollars into the mid-term elections and lobbying efforts against Kavanaugh.
Collins said she does not think Kavanaugh will overturn Roe v. Wade. Kavanaugh has, like judges before him, said the case is precedent. However, he has served on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C. for more than a decade, where he wrote decisions protecting religious liberty and enforcing restrictions on abortion. Pro-life leaders believe he would do the same on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Pro-abortion groups have labeled Kavanaugh a “serious threat” to “women’s right” to abortion, while national pro-life leaders have expressed high hopes for Kavanaugh and the future of unborn babies’ rights.
ACTION: Contact Senator Susan Collins at (202) 224-2523 or www.collins.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email