In a lengthy Friday speech announcing her support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) sought to downplay the notion that he would skew particularly conservative on the bench.
"That Judge Kavanaugh is more of a centrist than some of his critics maintain is reflected in the fact that he and Chief Judge Merrick Garland voted the same way in 93 percent of the cases that they heard together," she said, referring to former President Barack Obama's pick for the Supreme Court, whom Senate Republicans refused to hear in 2016.
Collins said she felt certain that Kavanaugh's views were well within the "mainstream" of legal interpretation. She expressed doubt that Kavanaugh would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade and argued that he has a record of supporting same-sex marriage and working to rein in executive power. Kavanaugh has made it clear that he does not believe a president is "above the law," she argued. Critics have pointed to Kavanaugh saying it was "wrongly decided" that presidents should be subject to subpoenas as evidence that he would side with President Trump's argument of presidential immunity.
The senator walked through multiple hot-button issues to argue Kavanaugh actually agreed with Democrats on many of them. "One concern that I frequently heard was that the judge would be likely to eliminate the Affordable Care Act's vital protections for people with pre-existing conditions," she said. "I disagree with this contention." Watch one of the key moments from Collins' centrist argument below, via Fox News. Summer Meza