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Collins Will Vote For Alito



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Senator Susan Collins of Maine has announced her intention to vote for Alito.

Collins was one of three Republicans whom some saw as possible votes against Alito. The other two — who haven’t yet announced their positions — are Collins’s colleague from Maine, Olympia Snowe, and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. One other Republican who is expected to vote yes, Senator Stevens, apparently also hasn’t announced his position.

I believe that 86 senators have now declared their positions: 55 for Alito, 31 against. Of the remaining Democrats, four (Conrad, Dorgan, Landrieu, and Pryor) are possible yes votes.

So it looks like Alito will get between 56 and 62 votes — probably 58 to 61.

There will probably be a lot of attention focused on whether Alito reaches the filibuster-proof level of 60, but this seems to me beside the point. There’s no actual prospect of a filibuster, as a number of Democrats who will vote against him have already made clear that they won’t support a filibuster. And I don’t see how the difference between 56-59 votes and 60-62 votes would have any effect on any subsequent Supreme Court nomination.



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