When Senator Susan Collins of Maine took to the floor of the Senate to announce whether or not she would vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, the nation seemed to hold its breath: would Collins join her fellow female, Republican colleague Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to put an end to the nomination of a man suspected of perjury and accused of sexual assault, a judge whose “emotional”, combative and arrogant testimony before the Senate committee suggested that he was not judicious, honest and fair-minded enough to serve on the Supreme Court?
It took Sen. Collins about forty-five minutes of speaking to get the definitive answer out: no, she was not going to join the brave vote of Republican Sen. Murkowski. Collins said she would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, and this afternoon she–along with all other Senate Republicans except Murkowski and, sadly, including Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who said, after Sen. Collins’ speech, he found Kavanaugh to be “a qualified jurist”– did just that.
Senator Collins seemed enamored with Judge Kavanaugh’s many previous rulings and his stated support for Supreme Court precedent. In her speech, Collins was confident that Judge Kavanaugh won’t stray and join his fellow conservatives to overturn or severely limit the precedent in favor of legal abortion:
“But, someone who believes that the importance of precedent has been rooted in the Constitution would follow long-established precedent except in those rare circumstances where a decision is “grievously wrong” or “deeply inconsistent with the law.” Those are Judge Kavanaugh’s phrases.”
Why Kavanaugh and his fellow conservatives wouldn’t consider Roe v. Wade “grievously wrong” and overturn it Sen. Collins did not say.
Nor did Senator Collins mention what she thought about the seemingly staged angry, arrogant, partisan testimony of Judge Kavanaugh following the appearance of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford before the Senate Committee. Clearly Collins had decided long ago that Kavanaugh was Supreme Court material, and nothing could convince her otherwise.
And so Senator Susan Collins of Maine cast the deciding vote to place Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. A vote that most women and a majority of Americans will long consider grievously wrong.