The Maine Republican continues to back the justices, who have already tried to destroy abortion rights.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) told voters on Wednesday that she does not believe the conservative majority on the Supreme Court would ever repeal abortion rights. But justices she voted to confirm have already tried to severely undermine them.
At a televised debate with her opponent, Democratic state House Speaker Sara Gideon, Collins was asked about the future of Roe v. Wade with the new 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
"I do not think that the Supreme Court is going to strike down Roe v. Wade. Not only is Roe v. Wade a precedent that people have relied on for decades, but it was reaffirmed in the [Planned Parenthood v. Casey] case 28 years ago," she argued. "I think it is extremely unlikely that the Supreme Court would act to overturn both of those precedents."
But the sole remaining member of the high court who participated in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey case, Justice Clarence Thomas, dissented.
Collins has subsequently voted to confirm four anti-abortion Republican appointees — Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Sam Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh.
As recently as June, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh voted to uphold abortion restrictions that would have made it impossible for many Louisiana women to access a legal abortion. Roberts, who had voted to uphold similar rules in Texas a few years earlier, blocked the Louisiana law, citing precedent — but made clear that he is fine with other burdensome abortion restrictions.
Donald Trump explicitly promised in 2016 that all of his Supreme Court picks would work to repeal Roe. But Collins — who claims to be "pro-choice" — has opted to ignore this in her statements, despite clear indications that his first two picks were anti-abortion. She's even argued that both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would preserve the abortion rights precedent.
A Collins spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.
Earlier this week, the Senate confirmed another anti-abortion Trump nominee — Justice Amy Coney Barrett — to the Supreme Court. Barrett, who signed a 2006 open letter opposing "abortion on demand" and the "barbaric legacy" of Roe v. Wade, will likely solidify the anti-abortion rights majority on the court for the foreseeable future.
While Collins voted against Barrett's confirmation, she used Wednesday's debate to make it "very clear that her concerns about Justice Barrett had to do with process, not with her qualifications for the job."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.