tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN October 5, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
chairman of the senate jacket, he was in -- judiciary committee. none of them know exactly what senator collins is going to do. just to set the stakes here, wolf, you named senator jeff flake. that's 49. if he stays where he is, that's 49 senators, republicans need 50 and the tie breaking vote from vice president pence. if susan collins says she will vote yes on the nomination, that is the vote that they need. obviously we're still waiting to hear from senator joe manchin, whether he plans to maintain his vote as well. a senator who has been undecided for the last couple of weeks, who has been going through a very, very difficult and complex process, a senator who on some of her crucial issues, most notably health care, roe v. wade
said she feels very comfortable. she spent a lot of time behind the scenes reviewing that fbi report and now she has to make the decision, guys. >> we'll find out soon enough, in the next few minutes. if she says she's going to vote yes in favor of confirmation, that's a huge deal. if she says no, that opens up a whole lot of possibilities. >> absolutely. and she has been absolutely in a painstaking way going over all of these documents. she was there until early this morning, i was told, at her office going over it. but she did have, as phil said, good meetings with brett kavanaugh. she is somebody who is for abortion rights, even though she's a republican. that was a hurdle she had to get over it before all of this and she did get over it. joining us political commentator mark short, the former director of legislative affairs for
president trump, gloria borger and mark chalian and arian d'vau d'vaugh. what are you hearing from your friends on the hill and the white house since you bridge both? >> well, i think right now there's a lot of optimism this will get completed. it's a departure from the way supreme court nominations used to go. it wasn't until 2005 we had our first cloture vote with alito. when clarence thomas was elected, there was never a minimum vote needed. >> if she announces she's going to vote against confirmation, it puts an enormous amount of
pressure on the one democrat who voted in favor of moving this process forward, joe manchin of west virginia, who is in a tough reelection bid in his home state. >> if i was joe manchin at that point, i'd be running for the hills of west virginia. the democrats will put so much pressure on him. you cannot be the deciding vote here. if you want our help in your race and he's now ahead comfortably but these things can change, if you want any help in your race, forget it, we're not going to help you. i can just imagine the conversation that would be had with chuck assuschumer. >> the best thing for joe manchin is if chuck schumer came out against him. that would help him. >> but not if he so tvoted yes kavanaugh. >> joe manchin voted for all of our controversial nominees, neil
gorsuch, pompeo, all the way down the line he's supported those nominees. >> he understands the importance of an executive getting who he or she wants for his cabinet. >> it's one thing to vote for all those nominees if you're one of several. it's another if you're the decisive vote that will put judge kavanaugh on the supreme court not for four years or eight years but maybe 30 or 35 years. >> he doesn't want to be the 50th vote, wonderful, but he also stated i've never not voted on cloture the way i'm going to vote on final. i imagine he'll stay true to that this time. >> i think it would be devastating for him back home if at this point he reversed course here. as much pressure as he may feel to not be the 50th vote, i just -- this is a state donald trump won by more than 40 points. i just think that joe manchin would have a very difficult time
explaining why he was for the process and letting it get to a final no vote but then at the end of the day had to be against. >> the reason we're talking about joe manchin is we're minutes away from susan collins making her decision. you're so right, mark. this historically is not the way it works. it's gotten more and more partisan as time has gone on. and by "it," i mean the conformation process. >> it also means two things for collins. it means, first of all, she was the one who wanted those fbi investigations, right? so it means that when she got that information back, she was satisfied. it also means that she wasn't as upset as some other people might be with judicial temperament. the whole idea that he was too political in that opening statement, that that would bleed over to the supreme court and that would be problematic.
if she votes in his favor, those two things she's willing to say that's all right. >> susan collins did her homework on this. i mean, she was in there reading the transcripts of the calls that came in over the transom and people saying i want to talk to you about x, y and z. the fbi, what was it a thousand pages? >> 1,500. >> 1,500 pages, i rest my case. she was reading the calls that came in of people who wanted to be interviewed who were not interviewed and she was interested in what they had to say. >> and the administration didn't ask for and the senators did not ask for that 1,600 pages. that's something that the fbi sent up along with the 46 pages of the -- >> maybe she asked for it but she read it. >> i'm curious because you covered these members of congress for a long time. the fact that susan collins and lisa murkowski might vote differently tomorrow during this final confirmation roll call, that's pretty extraordinary.
>> well, it is in these times. i interviewed them together after they both voted against -- >> here she is. >> the senator will suspend. the sergeant at arms will restore order in the gallery. sergeant -- >> vote no! show up for maine women! vote no! show up for maine women! vote no, show up for maine women! >> as a reminder to our guests in the galleries, expressions of approval or disapproval are not permitted in the senate galleries. >> the senator for maine. >> mr. president, the five
previous times that i've come to the floor to explain my vote on the nomination of a justice to the united states supreme court, i have begun my floor remarks explaining my decision with a recognition of the solemn nature and the importance of the occasion. but today we have come to the conclusion of a confirmation process that has become so dysfunctional, it looks more like a caricature of a gutter level political campaign than a solemn occasion. the president nominated brett kavanaugh on july 9th. within moments of that announcement, special interest groups raced to be the first to
oppose him, including one organization that didn't even bother to fill in the judge's name on its prewritten press release. they simply wrote that they opposed donald trump's nomination of xx to the supreme court of the united states. a number of senator joined the race to announce their opposition, but they were beaten to the punch by one of our colleagues who actually announced opposition before the nominee's identity was even known. since that time we have seen special interest groups with their followers into a frenzy by spreading misrepresentations and
outright falsehoods about judge kavanaugh's judicial record. over-the-top rhetoric and distortions of his record and testimonies at his first hearing produced short-lived headlines, which although debunked hours later continued to live on and be spread through social media. interest groups have also spent an unprecedented amount of dark money opposing this nomination. our supreme court confirmation process has been in steady decline for more than 30 years. one can only hope that the kavanaugh nomination is where the process has finally hit rock bottom. against this backdrop, it is up
to each individual senator to decide what the constitution's advice and consent duty means. informed by alexander hamilton's federalist 76, i have interpreted this to mean that the president has brought discretion to consider a nominee's philosophy, whereas my duty as a senator is to focus on the nominee's qualifications as long as that nominee's philosophy is within the mainstream of judicial five. i have always opposed litmus tests for judicial nominees with respect to their personal views or politics, but i fully expect them to be able to put aside any
and all personal preferences in deciding the cases that come before them. i've never considered the president's identity or party when evaluating supreme court nominations. as a result, i voted in favor of justices roberts and alito, who were nominated by president bush, justices sokagan nominate by president obama and so i reviewed judge kavanaugh's 12-year record on the d.c. circuit court of appeals,
including his more than 300 opinions and his many speeches and law review articles. 19 attorneys, including lawyers from the nonpartisan congressional research service briefed me many times each week and assisted me in evaluating the judge's extensive record. i met with judge kavanaugh for more than two hours in my office. i listened carefully to the testimony at the committee hearings. i spoke with people who knew him personally, such as condoleezza rice and many others. and i talked with judge kavanaugh a second time by phone for another hour to ask him very specific additional questions.
i also have met with thousands of my constituents, both advocates and many opponents regarding judge kavanaugh. one concern i frequently heard was that the judge would be likely to eliminate the affordable care act's vital protections for people with preexisting conditions. i disagree with this contention. in a dissent in 7 sky v. holder, judge kavanaugh rejected a challenge to the aca on narrow procedural grounds, preserving the law in full. many experts have said that his dissent informed justice roberts' opinion upholding the aca at the supreme court. furthermore, judge kavanaugh's approach toward the doctrine of
severability is narrow when a part of a statute is challenged on constitutional ground, he has argued for severing the invalid clause as surgically as possible while allowing the overall law to remain in tact. this was his approach and his dissent in a case that involved a challenge to the structure of the consumer financial protection bureau. in his dissent, judge kavanaugh argued for, quote, severing any problematic portions while leaving the remainder in tact, end quote. given the current challenges to the aca, proponents, including myself of protections for people with preexisting conditions
should want a justice who would take just this kind of approach. another assertion that i've heard often is that judge kavanaugh cannot be trusted if a case involving alleged wrongdoing by the president were to come before the court. the basis for this argument seems to be two-fold. first judge kavanaugh has written he believes congress should enact legislation to protect presidents from criminal prosecution or civil liability while in office. mr. president, i believe opponents missed the mark on this issue. the fact that judge kavanaugh offered this legislative proposal suggests that he believes that the president does not have such protection
currently. second, there are some who argue that given the current special counsel investigation president trump should not even be allowed to nominate a justice. that argument ignores our recent history. president clinton in 1993 nominated justice ginsburg after the whitewater investigation was already under way, and she was confirmed 96-3. the next year justice three years after independent counsel robert fisk was named to lead the whitewater investigation, president clinton nominated justice breyer. he was confirmed 87-9. supreme court justices have not hesitated to rule against the presidents who have nominated
them. perhaps most notably in the united states versus nixon, three nixon appointees who heard the case joined the unanimous opinion against him. judge kavanaugh has been unequivocal in his belief that no president is above the law. he has stated that marbury versus madison, youngstown steel versus sawyer and the united states versus nixon are three of the four greatest supreme court cases in history. what do they have in common? each of them is a case where congress served as a check on presidential power. and i would note that the fourth case that judge kavanaugh has pointed to as the greatest in history was brown versus the
board of education. one kavanaugh decision illustrates the point about the check on presidential power directly. he wrote the opinion in a case that challenges the bush administration's military commission prosecution of an associate of osama bin laden. the judge had been appointed by president bush and had worked in president bush's white house ruled that the conviction was unlawful. as he explained during the hearing, quote, we don't make decisions based on who people are or their policy preferences
or the moment. we base decisions on the law, end quote. others i've met with have expressed concerns that justice kennedy's retirement threatens the right of same-sex couples to marry, yet judge kavanaugh described the obergafeld decision, which legalized same-gender marriages as an important landmark precedent. he also cited justice kennedy's recent master piece cake shop opinion for the court's majority stating that, quote, the days of treating gay and lesbian americans or gay and lesbian couples as second class citizens who are inferior in dignity and worth are over in the supreme court, end quote. others have suggested that the
judge holds extreme views on birth control. in one case judge coffin kukav h kavanaugh incurred the disfavor of both sides for seeking to ensure the availability of contraceptive services for women while minimizing the involvement of employers with religious objections. although his critics frequently overlook this point, judge kavanaugh's dissent rejected arguments that the government did not have a compelling interest in facilitating access to contraception. in fact, he wrote that the supreme court precedent strongly suggested that there was a compelling interest in facilitating access to birth control. there has also been considerable focus on the future of abortion
rights based on the concern that judge kavanaugh would seek to overturn roe v. wade. protecting this right is important to me. to my knowledge, judge kavanaugh is the first supreme court nominee to express the view that precedent is not merely a practice and tradition but rooted in article 3 of our constitution itself. he believes that precedent is not just a judicial policy, it is constitutionally dictated to pay attention and pay heed to rules of precedent. in other words, precedent isn't a goal or an aspiration, it is a constitutional tenet that has to
be followed, except in the most extraordinary circumstances. the judge further explained that precedent provides stability, predictability, reliance and fairness. there are, of course, rare and extraordinary times where the supreme court would rightly overturn a precedent. the most famous example was when the supreme court in brown versus the board of education overruled plessy versus ferguson, correcting a grievously wrong decision to use the judge's term, allowing racial inequality. but someone who believes that the importance of precedent has been rooted in the constitution would follow long established precedent, except in those rare
circumstances where a decision is grievously wrong or deeply inconsistent with the law. those are judge kavanaugh's phrases. as the judge asserted to me a long established precedent, it's not something to be trimmed, narrowed, disguacarded or overlooked. its roots in the constitution give the concept of stare decisis greater weight such that the precedent can't be trimmed or narrowed simply because a judge might want to on a whim. in short, his views on honoring precedent would preclude attempts to do by stealth that which one has committed not to do overtly. noting that roe v. wade was decided 45 years ago and reaffirmed 19 years later in
planned parenthood versus casey, i asked judge kavanaugh whether the passage of time is relevant to following precedent. he said decisions become part of our legal framework with the passage of time and that honoring precedent is essential to maintaining public confidence. our discussion then turned to the right of privacy on which the supreme court relied in grizwald versus connecticut, a case that struck down the law banning the use and sale of contraceptio contraceptions. grizwald established the legal found ace that led to roe eight years later. in describing grizwald as settled law, judge kavanaugh observed it was the correct am
ka -- application of two cases from the 1920s, myers and pierce, that are not seriously challenged by anyone today. finally in his testimony he noted repeatedly that roe had been upheld by planned parenthood versus cases describing it as precedent on precedent. when i asked him would it be sufficient to overturn a long established precedent if five current justices believed that it was wrongly decided, he emphatically said no. opponents frequently cite then candidate donald trump's campaign pledge to nominate only judges who would overturn roe. the republican platform for all presidential campaigns has included this pledge since at
least of 1980. during this time presidents -- republican presidents have appointed justices o'connor, suitor and kennedy to the supreme court. these are the very three justices republican president appointed justices who authored the casey decision, which reaffirmed roe. furthermore, pro-choice groups vigorously oppose each of these justices nominations. incredibly they even circulated buttons with the slogan "stop suitor or women will die." just two years later justice suitor co-authored the opinion
reaffirming a woman's right to choose. suffice it to say prominent advocacy organizations have been wrong. these same interest groups have speculated that judge kavanaugh was selected to do the bidding of conservative ideologues despite rhis record of judicial independence. i asked the judge point blank whether he had made any commitments or pledges to anyone at the white house, to federalist sighfederal ist -- -- federalist societies or any outside groups. he assured me he had not. he received rave reviews as a judge, including for his judicial temperament.
the american bar gave him his highest possible rating. the aba concluded that his integrity, judicial temperament and professional confidence met the highest standards. lisa black, who has argued more cases before the supreme court than any other woman in history testified, quote, by any objective measure, judge kavanaugh is clearly qualified to serve on the supreme court. his opinions are invariably thoughtful and fair. miss blat, who clerked for him is an ardent admirer of justice
ginsburg and who is an unapologetic defender of a woman's right to choose says that judge kavanaugh fits within the main stream of legal thought. she also observed that judge kavanaugh is remarkably committed to promoting women in the legal profession. 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% of the cases that they heard together. indeed chief judge garland joined in more than 96 percent of the majority opinions authored by judge kavanaugh, dissenting only once. despite all this, after weeks of
reviewing judge kavanaugh's record and listening to 32 hours of his testimony, the senate's advice and consent role was thrown into a tail spin following the allegations of sexual assault by professor christine blasey ford. the confirmation process now involves evaluating whether or not judge kavanaugh committed sexual assault and lied about it to the judiciary committee. some argue that because this is a lifetime appointment. republican interests be
resolved against the nominee. in cases in which the facts are unclear, they would argue that the question should be resolved in favor of the nominee. mr. president, i understand both viewpoints. this debate is complicated further by the fact that the senate confirmation process is not a trial. but certain fundamental legal principles about due process, the presumption of innocence and fairness do bear on my thinking and i cannot abandon them. in evaluating any given claim of misconduct, we will be ill served in the long run if we
abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be. we miust always remember that i is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy. the presumption of innocence is relevant to the advice and consent function when an accusation departs from a nominee's otherwise exemplary record. i worry that departing from this presumption could lead to a lack of public faith in the judiciary and would be hugely damaging to the confirmation process moving forward. some of the allegations levied against judge kavanaugh illustrate why the presumption of innocence is so important.
i am thinking in particular not at the allegations raised by professor ford but of the allegation that when he was a teen-ager, judge kavanaugh drugged multiple girls and used their weakened state to facilitate gang rape. this outlandish allegation was put forth without any credible supporting evidence and simply parroted public statements of others. that such an allegation can find its way into the supreme court confirmation process is a stark reminder about why the presumption of innocence is so engrained in our american
consciousness. mr. president, i listened carefully to christine blasey ford's testimony before the judiciary committee. i found her testimony to be sincere, painful and compelling. i believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life. nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred. none of the individuals professor ford says were at the party has any recollection at all of the night.
judge kavanaugh forcefully denied the allegations under penalty of perjury. mark judge denied under penalty of felony that he had witnessed an assault. p.j. smyth, another person allegedly at the party denied that he was there under penalty of felony. professor ford's lifelong friend, leland keyser eer indic that under penalty of felony she does not remember that party. and miss keyser went further. she indicated that not only does she not remember a night like that, but also that she does not even know brett kavanaugh. in addition to the lack of corroborating evidence, we also learned some facts that raised
more questions. for instance, since these allegations have become public, professor ford testified that not a single person has contacted her to say i was at the party that night. furthermore, the professor testified that although she does not remember how she got home that evening, she knew that because of the distance she would have needed a ride, yet not a single person has come forward to say that they were the one who drove her home or were in the car with her that night. and professor ford also indicated that even though she left that small gathering of six or so people abruptly and without saying good-bye and distraught, none of them called
her the next day or ever to ask why she left, is she okay, not even her closest friend ms. keyser. mr. president, the constitution does not provide guidance on how we are supposed to evaluate these competing claims. it leaves that decision up to each senator. this is not a criminal trial, and i do not believe that claims such as these need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. nevertheless, fairness would dictate that the claims at least should meet a threshold of more likely than not as our standard. the facts presented do not mean that president -- that professor
ford was not sexual assaulted that night or at some other time, but they do lead me to conclude that the allegations fail to meet the more likely than not standard. therefore, i do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent judge kavanaugh from serving on the court. let me emphasize that my approach to this question should not be misconstrued as suggesting that unwanted sexual contact of any nature is not a serious problem in this country. to the contrary. if any good at all has come from this ugly confirmation process, it has been to create an
awareness that we have underestimated the pervasiveness of this terrible problem. i have been alarmed and disturbed, however, by some who have suggested that unless judge kavanaugh's nomination is rejected, the senate is somehow condoning sexual assault. nothing could be further from the truth. every person, man or woman, who makes a charge of sexual assault deserves to be heard and treated with respect. the me too movement is real. it matters. it is needed and it is long overdue. we know that rape and sexual assault are less likely to be reported to the police than
other forms of assault. on average an estimated 211,000 rapes and sexual assaults go unreported every year. we must listen to survivors, and every day we must seek to stop the criminal behavior that has hurt so many. we owe this to ourselves, our children and generations to come. since the hearing i have listened to many survivors of sexual assault. many were total strangers who told me their heart-wrenching stories for the first time in their lives. some were friends that i had known for decades, yet with the exception of one woman who had confided in me years ago, i had
no idea that they had been the victims of sexual attacks. i am grateful for their courage and their willingness to come forward, and i hope that in height i don't knening public a they have also lightened the burden that they have been quietly bearing for so many years. to them i pledge to do all that i can to ensure that their daughters and granddaughters never share their experiences. over the past few weeks i have been emphatic that the senate has an obligation to investigate and evaluate the serious allegations of sexual assault. i called for and supported the
additional hearing to hear from both professor ford and judge kavanaugh. i also pushed for and supported the fbi's supplemental background investigation. this was the right thing to do. christine ford never sought the spotlight. she indicated that she was terrified to appear before the senate judiciary committee and she has shunned attention since then. she seemed completely unaware of chairman grassley's offer to allow her to testify confidentially in california. watching her, mr. president, i could not help but feel that some people who wanted to engineer the defeat of this
nomination cared little, if at all, for her well being. professor ford testified that a very limited number of people had access to her letter, yet that letter found its way into the public domain. she testified that she never gave permission for that very private letter to be released and yet here we are. we are in the middle of a fight that she never sought, arguing about claims that she wanted to raise confidentially. now, one theory i've heard espoused repeatedly is that our colleague, senator feinstein leaked professor ford's letter at the 11th hour to derail this process. i want to state this very clearly. i know senator dianne feinstein
extremely well and i believe that she would never do that. i knew that to be the case before she ever stated that at the hearing. she is a person of integrity and i stand by her. i have also heard some argue that the chairman of the committee somehow treated professor ford unfairly. nothing could be further from the truth. chairman grassley, along with his excellent staff, treated professor ford with compassion and respect throughout the entire process. and that is the way the senator from iowa has conducted himself throughout a lifetime dedicated to public service. but the fact remains, mr.
president, someone leaked this letter against prove sr fofesso express wishes. i suspect regrettably that we will never know for certain who did it. to that leaker who i hope is listening now, let me say that what you did was unconscionable. you have taken a survivor who was not only entitled to your respect but also trusted you to protect her and you have sacrificed her well being in a misguided attempt to win whatever political crusade you think you are fighting. my only hope is that your callous act has turned this process into such a
dysfunctional circus that it will cause the senate and indeed all americans to reconsider how we evaluate supreme court nominees. if that happens, then the appalling lack of compassion you afforded professor ford will at least have some unintended positive consequences. mr. president, the politically charged atmosphere surrounding this nomination has reached a fever pitch, even before these allegations were known and it has been challenging even then to separate fact from fiction. we live in a time of such great disunity, as the bitter fight
over this nomination both in the senate and among the public clearly demonstrates. it is not merely a case of differing groups having different opinions. it is a case of people bearing extreme ill will toward those who disagree with them. in our intense focus on our differences, we have forgotten the common values that bind us together as americans. when some of our best minds are seeking to develop even more sophisticated algorithms designed to link us to web sites that only reinforce and cater to our views, we can only expect our differences to intensify. this would have alarmed the
drafters of our constitution, who were acutely aware that different values and interests could prevent americans from becoming and remaining a remaining a single people. they invoked in the preamble to the constitution the one that they put first was the formation of a more perfect union. their vision of a more perfect union does not exist today. and if anything, we appear to be moving farther away from it. it is particularly worrisome that the supreme court, the institution that most americans see as the principle guardian of
our shared constitutional heritage is viewed as part of the problem through a political lens. mr. president, we've heard a lot of charges and counter charges about judge kavanaugh. but as those who have known him best have attested, he has been an exemplary public servant, judge, teacher, coach, husband and father. despite the turbulent, bitter fight surrounding his nomination, my fervent hope is that brett kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the supreme court so that we have far fewer 5-4 decisions and so
that public confidence in our judiciary and our highest court is restored. mr. president, i will vote to confirm judge kavanaugh. thank you, mr. president. [ applause ] >> so there you have the breaking news. susan collins, the republican senator from maine, announcing a major decision. she will vote to confirm judge kavanaugh. and dana, she was outspoken and defending him on constitutional grounds, his legal background, all of that. but also making the case that she doesn't believe the sexual assault allegations that have been leveled against him. >> this speech was 45 minutes or so. not a speech that was written at the last minute. not a speech where her decision was made at the last minute. it just isn't. now, you know, maybe we'll find out that she had a speech that
was prepared for, you know -- to go a different way. but it's hard to imagine, because she was meticulous in laying out all of the reasons she thinks that brett kavanaugh should be put on the supreme court. and she left the allegations against him by professor ford for last. she talked about everything from health care to precedent, which is her way of talking about roe vs. wade. she is a republican for abortion rights. and, you know, basically trying to tell her like-minded constituents and people across the country that she believes him when he says he's not going to overturn roe v. wade. but then, of course, the most important where we are was about christine blasey ford, and i thought one of the most no noteworthy comments she made was the fact that we can't abandon -- >> the presumption -- >> the presumption of innocence
and fairness, especially when passion is most inflamed. fairness is not something that should be in jeopardy. >> she said, i do not believe these charges can fairly prevent judge kavanaugh from being on the court. >> exactly. and look, and that's it. and where we are? where we are right now is that judge kavanaugh has the votes. >> yeah. >> and that's also the most important thing, after that long speech. he's got 51 votes. >> 51. you need 50, if the vice president breaks the tie. and now it looks -- assuming joe manchin decides the vote in favor, there will be 51. >> you know, in a way, she's now turned into kavanaugh's greatest defender. ariane was saying this is the beginning of the rehab. and she also -- i think we had her at hello. we knew where she was at the very beginning of this, because she started this by eviscerating democratic outside groups as if there were no republican outside groups on this. but that's another story. and democratic senators who she
believes did a disservice to professor ford and i thought where she was most engaged on this was talking to democrats, whoever leaked it, she said, i don't believe dianne feinstein leaked it. but she said, you have sacrificed a survivor's well-being in a misguided attempt for whatever political crusade you think you are fighting. and it's clear that the entrance of avenatti into all of this really, really ticked her off. but she -- you know, this is something that i think she's thought about a lot. i think she went and read everything. and i think, however, she did not surprise by voting for her -- i mean, by -- for him. >> you know, it looks like it's going to be passed. he's going to be confirmed to the supreme court, now that susan collins has said she will vote yay.
>> donald trump in a year-and-a-half's time as president of the united states has succeeded in executing on one of the generational goals for conservatives, to reshape the supreme court in a more reliably conservative direction for decades to come. donald trump has done that. he did it by first getting the federalist society, the conservatives, to put out that list. vet all those potential people, so that all conservatives, some even had questions about when donald trump was president, able to get on board with this unifying and generational goal for the party, and donald trump has executed on it. he is going to be a supreme court justice. and this is going to go down, for all the things that will go down in history about donald trump's presidency, this will certainly be one of them. he's capping off, i would say, perhaps his best week as president. >> yeah. and ariane, let's just remind our viewers, now that she has announced she will vote in favor of his confirmation, there are
50 votes. and if joe manchin, the democratic senator from west virginia, who voted to keep this process going today, votes in favor, there will be 51. >> right. and the thing is, it's not only the supreme court that donald trump has done and don mcgahn, it's the lower courts. this has been their big issue. and that's what they have pressed upon. and i was really interested in what she said about the -- >> hold on a minute. he's just tweeted. joe manchin. i think we have it. we'll put it up on the screen. there it is. i will vote to support supreme court nominee, judge brett kavanaugh. very significant moment. that means, ariane, there will be 51 united states senators, assuming they all show up, who will vote in favor. he will be confirmed. he will be a supreme court justice, as i often say, not for four years, or eight years, but maybe 30 or 35 years. he's only 53 years old. this is a lifetime appointment. >> absolutely. and if -- if he's on the court for -- as long as -- old as ruth bader ginsburg is now, that's
2050. we have to think about this titanic shift. that's what started this up. anthony kennedy, so important on those hot-button issues, abortion, lgbt rights, affirmative action. that is all going to make this court take a hard right turn. and she talked about the process now of the court, and almost -- not only a rehabilitation -- the beginning of a rehabilitation for him, but for the court. she said this process has reached rock bottom. it's dysfunctional. it's gotten to a gutter level political campaign. that was real anger about the process. >> mark, i wonder what you think about what david said. because he hit the nail on the head about this being -- i don't think people out there who aren't part of the conservative movement, who have been working for this, as you said, for a generation, understand the win here. with justice -- soon to be, it seems, justice kavanaugh. >> you're both saying it's not just two supreme court nominations. there are more circuit judges confirmed in the first two years
of his presidency as any presidency in history. that's phenomenal. and also attributed to the effort of mitch mcconnell, who has said, i'm going to keep prioritizing the judges. over those that have to wait for further cloture votes. i'll continue working on the judges. despite all the noise and other stuff that is coverage around this administration, one of this president's legacies will be the way he has reshaped the courts. >> it's one thing to do the federal bench below the supreme court, but it's the other thing to get the money seat on the highest court in the land. >> that's true, dana. but these circuit judges will be in position for future -- >> they will. >> supreme court openings, too. >> and this is mcconnell, by the way, who was so into this process and getting it through quickly, who would not allow a vote. and you know what i'm going to say, on merrick garland. and held it up forever. and so, you know, that played into all of this. i think mcconnell probably
figures his strategy has worked brilliantly. and you know trump and mcconnell have not been besties, but i think now -- i think now donald trump owes mitch mcconnell a big pat on the back here, because he's done for him, and helped him, and kept garland off for republicans and then did this, and did gorsuch. >> hold on a second. here is joe manchin. >> senator, explain your decision to vote for -- >> first of all, i saw that senator collins -- out of respect, i wanted to watch her give hers, and she asked to do that. and i knew -- i saw she was going to do that and i said, fine, i'll watch it. and then i -- >> hey! >> i made my decision. and i gave my reasons for my decision. >> shame! shame! shame! >> you can learn to the people here -- are you concerned -- >> i'm concerned with the sexual abuse people have had to endure, and we have to do something as a country. i had to deal with the facts i
had in front of me. >> do you believe the allegation? >> were you willing to be the 50th vote for judge kavanaugh? >> i never thought of it as 51, 52. i had -- if i had been in that position, i would have liked to have brought this place back to normal procedure. >> shame on you! >> why did you wait for collins to make her announcement before you made your announcement? >> i think that was basically what -- i saw her announcement that she was going to do, she would do that. >> reporter: did you follow her, decide to vote that way, because she voted -- >> no, no, no. i think everyone labored with this. everybody labored with this decision. >> shame on you, shame on you, shame on you! >> senator murkowski is not voting with her party. does that affect your decision at all? >> senator murkowski is a