On Thursday, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked Louisiana from implementing the same type of abortion provider restrictions that were struck down in Texas in 2016. But no thanks to President Donald Trump’s latest addition to the bench, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who wrote a dissent explaining how he would have preferred to let the law take effect, effectively reverse the two-year-old precedent on an emergency appeal, and revisit the issue after the law had a chance to shut down most of the state’s clinics.
With this, public attention inevitably returned to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) who provided the deciding vote to confirm Kavanaugh after a long-winded Senate speech on how she did not believe the allegations of sexual assault against him and did not believe he would undermine Roe v. Wade. Faced with his actions last week, Collins stands by her decision, with her office dismissively telling the Associated Press her critics didn’t read the opinion. In fact, at least one legal expert has outlined how Kavanaugh’s dissent provides a roadmap to dismantle abortion rights with a trickle of dry, procedural rulings.
But even if Collins isn’t prepared to admit this, says the Maine Beacon, she “can expect to take heat just about every time Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh takes a conservative stance on a polarizing legal issue.”
“Legal experts say there’s been no situation in recent decades in which a single senator has been similarly perceived by the public to have elevated a justice to the Supreme Court,” says the Beacon — due in part to the fact that she is up for re-election in 2020, and because she was considered a persuadable vote by Democrats during the process. “Collins can expect a similar backlash from the left any time Kavanaugh weighs in on hot-button issues. Those could include possible future cases dealing with abortion, gay rights, partisan gerrymandering and environmental issues.”
Collins staked her entire reputation on helping Trump put a deeply unpopular right-wing ideologue on the Supreme Court — and whatever he does on the bench, it will come back to reflect on her.