Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Jeff Flake often take a lot of flack from conservatives, and throughout the confirmation process of Brett Kavanaugh, their mixed signals were a source of angina for many on the Right. They wavered, and delayed the process, and seemingly played right into the Democrats’ hands, but in the end, they put Kavanaugh over the top and helped ensure that he’d reach the Supreme Court in a much stronger position than he otherwise would have.
In a dramatic 43-minute speech, Collins on Friday afternoon put an end to months of suspense by announcing she would vote “yes” on Kavanaugh, clearing the way for his confirmation. But the speech ended up being a masterful, sober, passionate, closing argument for Kavanaugh that swatted down, point-by-point, the arguments made against his nomination.
Collins started by noting how opponents were prepared to run a scorched earth campaign against any nominee, and lamented the decline of the confirmation process to a “gutter level political campaign.” She then went through his legal history in detail, knocking down the idea that he was going to shield President Trump from wrongdoing if the law said otherwise, or the idea that he was chomping at the bit to overturn Roe v. Wade.