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Senator Collins “Under Fire” For Confirming Anti-Choice Justices to Supreme Court

Collins Defends Votes for Kavanaugh, Gorsuch As They Continue Threatening Abortion Access

Senator Susan Collins is defending her votes to confirm two anti-choice justices to the Supreme Court after they dissented from the majority ruling to uphold access to women’s health care. Senator Collins justified her votes for Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch by promising Mainers they would respect precedent with regard to Roe v. Wade and reproductive rights and has even since defended her vote when they have written anti-choice opinions on the Court. 

Now, after Kavanaugh and Gorsuch ignored precedent and argued to uphold a law that would have left just one abortion provider in the state of Louisiana, Collins is doubling down on her claim that Kavanaugh and Gorsuch don’t pose a threat to Roe v. Wade. Her judicial record – including confirming every single Trump judicial nominee in 2017 and 2018 – is one reason why both Planned Parenthood and NARAL, who supported the vulnerable incumbent in the past, have endorsed Sara Gideon. 

Now, Senator Collins is once again “under fire” for giving the judges “a pass for opposing abortion rights ruling.” Check it out below:

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Maine Public: Collins Under Fire After Kavanaugh Dissents In Ruling Striking Down Louisiana Abortion Restrictions
By Keith Shortall

  • Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is under renewed political scrutiny Monday for supporting the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in the wake of the Court’s divided decision that struck down a Louisiana law restricting abortion.
  • The law required abortion providers to obtain hospital admitting privileges, but critics, including national abortion rights groups, say it was designed to shut down clinics. They say voters should hold Collins accountable this November for supporting Kavanaugh, who dissented from the majority in the case.
  • Democratic Maine House speaker Sara Gideon, Collins’ lead opponent in the race, was also on the offensive Monday, tweeting that Collins “knew where Brett Kavanaugh stood on reproductive rights, and voted to confirm him anyway.”
  • Collins cast a deciding confirmation vote for Kavanaugh in Oct. 2018. Her decision came after Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault and his confirmation hearings captured national attention, and after Kavanaugh called Roe v. Wade “settled law” in a meeting with Collins.

Bangor Daily News: Susan Collins’ vote to confirm Kavanaugh back in spotlight after dissent in abortion case
By Jessica Piper

  • A dissenting Monday argument from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a Louisiana abortion-rights case brought Sen. Susan Collins’ 2018 vote to confirm him back to the forefront of the Republican’s upcoming re-election race.
  • Collins’ Democratic opponents, who have long been critical of her vote to confirm Kavanaugh, pointed to his dissent as further evidence that the most recently confirmed justice would not follow precedent with respect to abortion rights.
  • In a statement released by her Senate campaign, House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, the frontrunner in the three-way July 14 primary with backing from national Democrats, accused Collins of enabling attacks on abortion rights by voting for “anti-choice nominees.”

HuffPost: Sen. Susan Collins Gives Brett Kavanaugh A Pass For Opposing Abortion Rights Ruling
By Igor Bobic

  • Collins, who supports abortion rights, also defended two justices whose nominations she had backed, saying their position in the case did not suggest their support for overturning the landmark abortion rights precedent Roe v. Wade.
  • Collins’ vote was pivotal to Kavanaugh’s confirmation in 2018. The senator has repeatedly said she believed the judge would respect legal precedent and not overturn Roe. She has been more ambivalent about cases like June Medical Services, however, which concern state laws limiting access to abortion.
  • Collins similarly defended Kavanaugh for voting to let stand Louisiana’s abortion law during an initial challenge in 2019, saying, “I don’t understand how this is being viewed as somehow overturning Roe v. Wade except by people on the far left who are looking for anything.”
  • Progressive advocacy and abortion rights groups, however, maintain that Kavanaugh’s dissent ― literally in favor of a law limiting access to abortions ― is only more indication he supports curtailing abortion rights.
  • They say that simply because Kavanaugh didn’t explicitly state his desire for overturning Roe, as Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his own dissenting opinion, doesn’t mean he wouldn’t ultimately join a conservative majority in wiping it out in the future. And they note Kavanaugh voted to overturn a key precedent on abortion rights in a nearly identical case just four years ago.
  • “Susan Collins likes to pretend she cares about protecting reproductive freedom, but she made her true colors known when she cast the deciding vote to put extreme ideologue Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court,” Ilyse Hogue, president of the advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in a statement on Monday. “Women in Maine and across the country see right through her deception and recognize her attacks on our fundamental freedoms.” 

CNN: Sara Gideon attacks Susan Collins on abortion rights after Supreme Court ruling
By Alex Rogers

  • Gideon touted her endorsements from groups supporting abortion rights like NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood Action and publicly questioned whether Collins still believed that Kavanaugh viewed Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision in which the court ruled that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, as “settled law.”
  • In a video conversation with NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue, Gideon charged that Kavanaugh “did the exact opposite of what Susan Collins professed over and over again that she was sure that he would do — and that is respecting the precedent of Roe v. Wade.”
  • Collins has repeatedly refused to say if she is backing Trump’s reelection bid.

New York Times: Abortion Rises as a Pivotal Issue for At-Risk Senate Republicans
By Maggie Astor and Matt Stevens

  • When Ms. Collins, a Maine Republican, cast a decisive vote to confirm Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018, she did so on the premise that he would uphold precedent to preserve abortion rights. But on Monday, Justice Kavanaugh dissented from a decision that did that, arguing that the court should have ruled differently than it did in a nearly identical case four years ago.
  • Ms. Collins, a rare Republican who supports abortion rights, is facing the most difficult campaign of her more than 20-year Senate career, in large part as a result of her vote to confirm Justice Kavanaugh — and the new ruling has taken what may be one of her biggest vulnerabilities and put it squarely at the center of public attention.
  • Anna Greenberg, a Democratic pollster, said that in Maine, Justice Kavanaugh’s dissent could undermine Ms. Collins’s longstanding argument that she is an independent voice within the Republican Party — something Maine voters tend to value.

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