Sparks Fly as Collins, Hirono Debate Kavanaugh Confirmation

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Kavanaugh replaces retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative jurist who often cast the deciding swing vote on ideologically divisive issues, upholding abortion and gay rights and the use of affirmative action aiding racial minorities in college admissions.

As Susan Collins prepared to announce how she'd vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, there was a genuine sense of curiosity about what she'd do.

Even after the FBI returned with no evidence to back up those accounts, Democrats denounced the investigation and pleaded with Republicans to join them in rejecting Justice Kavanaugh. Sen. Rice is not now a ME resident - she has family ties to the state - but would bring political celebrity that could make it hard for the state's shallow bench of lesser-known Democrats to stand out.

"That's what I owe my constituents", Collins said on CNN'S "State of the Union".

She also "didn't speak to about 30 protesters gathered in front of her home in Bangor" on Sunday. Even before Collins had announced her "yes" vote for Kavanaugh, the page had raised $2 million-declaring, "Either Collins VOTES NO on Kavanaugh, or we fund her future opponent".

But then, she heard Kavanaugh's rebuttal.

Collins of ME said Ford's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee was "heart-wrenching" but added that Kavanaugh also passionately denied her accusations.

Collins said she considers the crowdfunding campaign raising money for whoever might challenge her in 2020 to be an attempt at bribery.

Collins returned to ME late Saturday after Kavanaugh was sworn into office. Kavanaugh showed himself to be a severe partisan, and Collins, in effect, endorsed that partisanship when she voted to put him on the Supreme Court. She said ME needs "someone who's not entrenched in the old way of doing things".

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However, Rice didn't say she wouldn't run for a Maine Senate seat.

"First of all, I have never disregarded, disrespected or mocked survivors".

"The last 20-so years I've been a homeowner in the state of Maine, so it's not completely insane", she said, adding: "My bottom line is I'm going to give it due consideration, after the midterms".

When she finished her speech Sen.

"It's too soon to say what I might do", Hannah Pingree told the AP.

Sweet said a big factor would be whether Collins, 65, decides to run at all.

Three men, current Democratic Senate nominee Zak Ringelstein, state Rep. Seth Berry and Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling, said they're more interested in supporting a female candidate than running themselves. Collins broke her promise to be an independent voice in Washington, all the while insisting that she had delivered on it.

"I mean, that is so devastating, and I think he reacted with anger and anguish as a father of two young girls, a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old", the Maine Republican said.

The political groups Be A Hero Team, Maine People's Alliance and Mainers for Accountable Leadership had called out the senator before her vote, with a Crowdpac campaign titled: "Either Sen".

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