AND SUSAN COLLINS EXPLAINS WHY SHE IS A YES VOTE
In the Senate today, Maine Sen. Susan Collins has indicated she is a “yes” vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Her decision is in stark contrast to the one made earlier today by Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Collins said the Senate must not abandon the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
“Our Supreme Court confirmation process has been in steady decline for more than 30 years,” Collins said. “One can only hope the Kavanaugh nomination is where the process has finally hit rock bottom.”
LISA MURKOWSKI, AS TRANSCRIBED BY THE NEW YORK TIMES
Senator Lisa Murkowski’s statement to reporters this morning following her “no” vote on the cloture — the proceeding to the floor with the confirmation vote of Brett Kavanaugh:
I did not come to a decision on this until walking onto the floor this morning. I have been wrestling to really try to know what is fair and what is right, and the truth is, that none of this has been fair.
This hasn’t been fair to the judge, but I also recognize that we need to have institutions that are viewed as fair and if people who are victims, people who feel that there is no fairness in our system of government, particularly in our courts, then you’ve gone down a path that is not good and right for this country. And so I have been wrestling with whether or not this was about qualifications of a good man or is this bigger than the nomination.
And I believe we’re dealing with issues right now that are bigger than the nominee and how we ensure fairness and how our legislative and judicial branch can continue to be respected. This is what I have been wrestling with, and so I made the — took the very difficult vote that I did.
I believe Brett Kavanaugh’s a good man. It just may be that in my view he’s not the right man for the court at this time. So I have taken my vote here this morning, I’m going to go back to my office and write a floor statement that is more fulsome and have the opportunity to have that.
But this has truly been the most difficult evaluation of a decision that I have ever had to make, and I’ve made some interesting ones in my career. But I value and respect where my colleagues have come down from in their support for the judge, and I think we’re at a place where we need to begin thinking about the credibility and integrity of our institutions.