BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, key to the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, announced Friday she will vote yes on the senate floor this weekend, potentially clearing the way for Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Kavanaugh moved past a key hurdle during a procedural vote in the Senate Friday that advanced his confirmation to a final vote set for Saturday. Collins is a moderate Republican who holds a key swing vote.

During a speech Friday from the senate floor, Collins said the confirmation process has looked more like a “gutter level political campaign than a solemn occasion.”

gettyimages 1046058572 Maine Sen. Susan Collins, Key Swing Vote, Will Vote Yes On Brett Kavanaugh

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) walks to the Senate floor for a cloture vote on the nomination of Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, at the U.S. Capitol, October 5, 2018. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Back in Maine, some demonstrators gathered in Portland’s Monument Square Friday morning. A coalition of groups also held a sit-in at Collins’ Portland office.

“If Senator Susan Collins votes for Brett Kavanaugh, she is saying point blank that she doesn’t care about sexual assault survivors, she does not believe them, and she has no interest in pretending anymore that she does,” said Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolent Action, one of the group’s participating in the sit-in.

Kavanaugh faces multiple allegations of sexual assault and misconduct. He has denied allegations of sexual assault by psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford, describing them in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week as part of a political smear campaign.

kavanaugh1 Maine Sen. Susan Collins, Key Swing Vote, Will Vote Yes On Brett Kavanaugh

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)

News about Kavanaugh’s nomination has been nearly inescapable in the state. A report from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University said Maine is the top state in the nation for television ad spending related to Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Maine’s other senator, independent Angus King, reiterated on Thursday that he’s voting against Kavanaugh.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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