"This is what I have been wrestling with, and so I made the - took the very hard vote that I did", she said.
The Senate voted largely along party lines Saturday to narrowly confirm U.S. President Donald Trump's pick to America's top court, cementing a conservative majority on the bench for the foreseeable future.
On top if everything else, an old tweet from November 2017 has now come back to haunt Collins.
The final Senate vote on the Supreme Court nominee is likely to be held Saturday.
During her 40-minute speech, Collins said the nominee deserves a presumption of innocence against the sexual allegation charges brought again him - and that idea ruffled the feathers of many celebrities.
Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, in Washington on October 5, 2018, after the Senate voted to move to a final floor vote. That's not conclusive evidence of what they will do on Saturday, but it sure looks better for Kavanaugh's chances than if they had voted against ending debate on the nomination.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted, "Thank you @SenatorCollins for standing by your convictions and doing the right thing to confirm Judge Kavanaugh". But it wasn't clear at the time that she would be a "yes"' for the nominee.
His nomination was left teetering on the edge after university psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford claimed in harrowing testimony last week that he tried to rape her when they were high school students. "Judge Kavanaugh forcefully denied the allegations".
"I believe we're dealing with issues right now that are bigger than the nominee and how we ensure fairness and how our legislative and judicial branch can continue to be respected", she said, choosing her words carefully, her voice filled with emotion. "Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events", Collins said.
Judge Kavanaugh has faced sexual assault allegations from several women, most prominently from Prof Ford.
Mr Kavanaugh's nomination has been hit by accusations of sexual misconduct. And expect some lackluster Republicans, many of which were turned off by Trump and sitting on the fence, to reconsider supporting their party in the midterms now.
Flake later told reporters he would support confirmation unless something significant changes.
On Friday evening, Sen.
Manchin, who faces a competitive re-election next month in a state Trump overwhelmingly carried in 2016, voted to advance Kavanaugh's nomination in a key procedural vote earlier Friday. Republican Senator Joe Manchin joined with the rest of the Republicans to support Brett Kavanaugh.
After his first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, came forward with her accusations, polls showed that Americans' opinions of Kavanaugh plummeted, and according to numerous polls, Kavanaugh has lost the most support from women and Democrats.
"Not a single person has contacted her to say I was at the party that night...not a single person has come forward to say they were the one who drove her home or were in the auto with her that night", said Collins. "Man. Man. He was gone so fast, O.K.?" he said to the crowd.
On Saturday, all Republican senators, with the exception of Sen.
Which leaves Collins and Manchin.
Democratic senators leapt over one another in attempting to vilify Kavanaugh in those hearings. He angrily accused Democrats of a "search and destroy" mission, fueled by their hatred of Trump. But he said he will because he considers Kavanaugh a "qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution".