Susan Collins on Kavanaugh: ‘How could I decide before hearing the testimony of Professor Ford?’

DCNFKevin Daley, DCNF

GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, one of a handful of lawmakers likely to cast the decisive vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, said she is confident Kavanaugh will not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

While cautioning that she has not yet made a final decision respecting his nomination, the senator rejected the idea that abortion rights would be imperiled if he ascends to the Supreme Court.

“Well first of all, I do not believe he’s going to repeal Roe v. Wade,” Collins told HBO’s “The Circus.”

The Maine Republican said she could not commit to Kavanaugh without hearing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegations on Thursday. Blasey Ford says Kavanaugh pinned her against a bed, attempted to remove her clothes, and groped her when they were at a party in high school.

“How could I decide before hearing the testimony of Professor Ford?” Collins said, adding that she was close to making a decision.

Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley released a letter Blasey Ford submitted to the panel on Saturday, relaying her determination to appear before lawmakers for questioning.

“While I am frightened, please know, my fear will not hold me back from testifying and you will be provided with answers to all of your questions,” Blasey Ford wrote. “I ask for fair and respectful treatment.”

The format of Thursday’s hearing has not yet been determined. Collins wrote her own letterto Grassley on Sept. 18 suggesting that outside lawyers lead questioning of the witnesses, a proposal to which Blasey Ford’s lawyers have objected.

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