Oct 7, 2018

Collins initially thought Kavanaugh should withdraw after watching Ford

Sen. Susan Collins told CNN's State of the Union Sunday that she initially thought Brett Kavanaugh would have to withdraw after hearing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's "compelling and painful testimony," but she changed her mind when Kavanaugh came back with a "forceful" denial.

The big picture: Collins reiterated that she believed Ford was assaulted by someone and that it upended her life, but she said doesn't believe the assailant was Brett Kavanaugh. Collins said her decision to vote for Kavanaugh was driven by her belief in the American legal system of "presumption of innocence and fairness."

Other highlights:

  • Collins said Kavanaugh "should not have taken a shot at the Clintons" during his testimony, a move that many critics have decried as too partisan for a Supreme Court justice.
  • She said she has "full confidence" that Kavanaugh will not overturn Roe v. Wade. Responding to criticism from Planned Parenthood, she noted that the organization has opposed three pro-choice justices just because they were nominated by Republican presidents.
  • When asked if she was worried about losing her seat in 2020 because of her vote, Collins said "the people of Maine have trusted me to exercise my best judgment. That's what I did in this case."

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Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters and police clash nationwide over George Floyd

A firework explodes behind a line of police officers next to the Colorado State Capitol during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Denver on May 30. Photo : Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd continued nationwide into early Sunday.

The big picture: Police responded over the weekend with force, in cities ranging from Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., Denver and Louisville. Large crowds gathered in Minneapolis on Saturday for the fifth day in a row.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Massive demonstrations put police response to unrest in the spotlight

Washington State Police use tear gas to disperse a crowd in Seattle during a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The response of some officers during demonstrations against police brutality in the U.S. has been criticized for being excessive by some officials and Black Lives Matter leaders.

Why it matters: The situation is tense across the U.S., with reports of protesters looting and burning buildings. While some police have responded with restraint and by monitoring the protests, others have used batons, tear gas, rubber bullets and other devices to disperse protesters and, in some cases, journalists.