GOP senator could be in deep trouble if she votes for Brett Kavanaugh


Trump's Supreme Court pick could be a serious liability for Sen. Susan Collins.

Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh is already one of the least popular nominees in the history of polling, which could end up costing Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) dearly if she votes to confirm him.

According to a new survey from Public Policy Polling, 47 percent of Maine voters say they are less likely to vote for Collins' re-election if she supports Kavanaugh's confirmation, versus just 31 percent who say they would be more likely to.

Collins has previously promised not to support a nominee who would be "hostile to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law."

And supporting a nominee who would want to overturn Roe would be a mistake for her, according to Maine voters. When told that Kavanaugh would likely tip the balance of the court on Roe, 54 percent said they'd be less likely to support him.

But on Tuesday, Collins hinted that she is willing to give Kavanaugh's hostility to safe, legal abortion a pass.

"He said that he agreed with what Justice Roberts said at his nomination hearing, in which he said it was settled law," she told reporters following her meeting with Kavanaugh.

"Settled law" is a popular way for judicial nominees to avoid actually answering questions, but in Kavanaugh's case, it means even less than usual.

In 2016, he gave a speech in which he said he would overturn and "put the final nail in" a Supreme Court decision that upheld a now-expired independent counsel law.

On abortion in particular, Kavanaugh has made his opposition clear. He praised the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist for dissenting in Roe v. Wade. He also tried to block a 17-year-old immigrant in detention from accessing an abortion. That decision was overturned by a higher court.

Collins is not up for re-election until 2020, but if she votes to confirm a Supreme Court justice whose extremist ideology is out of sync with Maine voters — especially after she vowed not to — that vote could come back to bite her.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.