NBC News reports, it appears to be over:
Sen. Susan Collins, who had been the last undecided Republican vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, announced Friday she will vote in favor of President Donald Trump’s pick, virtually ensuring his confirmation when the full Senate holds its final vote on Saturday.
In a speech on the Senate floor that lasted more than 40 minutes, Collins, a Maine Republican, forcefully outlined her belief that Kavanaugh was well-qualified, that the Senate confirmation process “is not a trial” and that she “cannot abandon” the “presumption of innocence.”
It now appears that there will be 51 votes in favor of Kavanaugh, because Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia came out minutes after her speech in favor of the nominee, the only Democrat to back Trump’s pick.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin’s expected vote for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation offsets the announced no vote from Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and barring any other last-minute swings that will allow Kavanaugh to be confirmed in a vote this weekend with the need for a tie-breaker by Vice President Mike Pence. The question now turns to what effect this battle will have on the upcoming midterm elections, which have been trending heavily against majority Republicans. The conventional wisdom among Republicans is that this battle has energized the Republican base, while Democrats look to outraged women voters to turn out against the GOP in droves.
And of course, in 2020 the bad faith shown here will be part of the discussion about Sen. Cory Gardner’s future.
But for now, what matters is that a man who has demonstrated frightful ill temperament and a partisan grudge-match mentality, in addition to the multiple ugly allegations of sexual misconduct against him, is about to receive a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. At age 53. The short-term political consequences will be history decades before the full impact of Kavanaugh’s confirmation is understood.
If you ever lacked an object lesson for why elections matter, you don’t anymore.