PORTLAND, Maine — The end of contentious confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has shifted the focus back to potential swing votes like Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

If Collins votes yes, then he is likely confirmed. She and Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska probably would have to both vote “no” for Kavanaugh to be blocked.

In keeping with her deliberative approach, Collins has kept mum about how she’ll vote. Still, she’s sent signals that Kavanaugh cleared a hurdle by telling her that Roe v. Wade establishing abortion rights is settled law.

A spokeswoman for Collins said Saturday that a recently released email from Kavanaugh – in which he disputed that all legal scholars see Roe as settled – didn’t contradict what he told the senator because he wasn’t expressing his personal views.

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