Social media posters had a field day as the two Republicans seated behind the Maine senator -- Shelley Moore Capito, of West Virginia and Cindy Hyde-Smith, of Mississippi -- tried to stay alert during the speech. Both senators have expressed their support for Kavanaugh.
"Who are these two ladies behind Collins," one Twitter user wrote. "They both look bored to tears."
Some posters believed that placing the two women behind Collins was a symbolic gesture orchestrated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Others speculated that Collins’ decision was already telegraphed, because it would be unlikely for her colleagues to sit behind her if she was going to oppose Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh’s nomination has grown into a contentious battle since Christine Blasey Ford alleged that the judge sexually assaulted her during the 1980s when both attended high school in Maryland. Ford’s testimony led to a delay in the confirmation hearings.
“We live in a time of such great disunity, as the bitter fight over this nomination — both in the Senate and among the public — demonstrates,” Collins said Friday. “It is a case of people bearing extreme ill will towards those who disagree with them.”