Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, one of just two Republican senators who claim to be pro-choice, has voted for at least 32 of President Trump’s anti-abortion judicial nominees. (The other such senator is Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.)
Collins has voted to confirm more than 90 percent of Trump’s judicial picks, including 32 nominees that NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Democratic PAC American Bridge found had indicated they oppose abortion rights.
“Actions speak louder than words, and no amount of pro-choice rhetoric will change the fact that Senator Collins has voted to confirm over 30 anti-choice Trump judicial nominations,” Maine Democratic party spokesman Alex Stack told HuffPost. “Any pro-choice credibility Senator Collins built up over the past two decades in Washington is officially gone.”
Collins spokeswoman Annie Clark told the outlet that the senator does not consider nominees’ personal or political beliefs when evaluating judicial nominees.
“One factor she does not consider is the nominee’s personal beliefs, political or otherwise. She does, however, evaluate whether a nominee can set aside these beliefs and rule fairly and impartially,” Clark said. She added that Collins has supported more than 90 percent of judges appointed by presidents from both parties. “While this approach might seem novel in today’s hyperpartisan climate, it used to be the norm. By any normal yardstick, Senator Susan Collins is a pro-choice Republican,” Clark said.
Despite this claim, Collins voted to confirm Kenneth Bell as a U.S. district judge for the Western District of North Carolina despite an op-ed he wrote years earlier slamming what he called the “indefensibility of the abortion rights position.”
Last month, she also voted to confirm Michael Truncale as a U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Texas even though he ran for Congress several years earlier, boasting of his “strong pro-life and pro-family values.”
Collins’ pro-choice claims previously came under heavy skepticism when she voted to confirm conservative Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Collins said in a speech that she believed Kavanaugh would not overturn Roe v. Wade because he “emphatically” assured her that he would not overturn long-established Supreme Court precedent.
She voted to confirm those nominees despite the fact that Trump repeatedly vowed during the 2016 presidential campaign to nominate Supreme Court justices who were “pro-life.” Even after Kavanaugh voted to limit abortion access in Louisiana, Collins insisted that she still believed he would not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
But Trump’s Collins-approved picks to the Supreme Court have given the anti-abortion movement new life. Numerous states have enacted draconian new abortion restrictions, with Alabama voting to ban nearly all abortion outright, in hopes that the Gorsuch-Kavanaugh court will overturn Roe v. Wade or at least allow much more severe restrictions than the court had in the past.
Even though proponents of the Alabama law and other states’ restriction have literally said they hope to overturn Roe v. Wade following Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Collins said last month that she‘s “not exactly sure why we’re seeing this happen.”
Maine voters seem to know why it’s happening. Collins’ approval numbers in her state have plummeted since her Kavanaugh vote, with her 2020 re-election campaign just ahead. According to a new Critical Insights poll, her approval ratings have slipped from 58 percent last spring to 51 percent in the fall to 41 percent today.
“If I had to speculate on a single factor underlying this slip in Collins’ approval rating, it would be her pivotal role in Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court,” said Critical Insights president Ben Domine. “Her approval was both strong and steady prior to her vote last fall, and it has continued to slip since then.”
The problem isn’t the campaign manager — it’s Trump: Republican analyst
Switching up the campaign manager four months before the election when the latest poll shows you 12 points down has nothing to do with the campaign's leadership, Republican analyst Amanda Carpenter explained on CNN Wednesday.
"The problem isn't that Donald Trump has a bad campaigner," said Carpenter in an interview with CNN's Don Lemon. "They're raising tons of money. They have a boatload of surrogates. The problem is that he has a bad presidency. And no one -- no one, no spin master, not Kellyanne Conway, not Brad Parscale can spin the most important number of this election, and that's -- at present, 137,000 dead and rising. And so what we need to see if Donald Trump wants to turn this around is to turn around his white house. And I have four words of advice: More Fauci, less Kayleigh."
Here’s what you need to know about Bill Stepien — the man who just took over Trump’s fledgling campaign
President Donald Trump announced that his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, is being shoved out of his role given the failures the campaign has suffered over the past seven months.
In his place, for now, at least, will be Bill Stepien.
If that name sounds familiar, it may be because Stepien was part of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Bridgegate scandal, where, as punishment to Mayor Mark Sokolich, two of three toll lanes were closed during a Monday morning rush hour and weren't reopened until Friday.
The court case quoted Bill Stepien's name over 700 times, including an email in which he claimed, "It will be a tough November for this little Serbian." The mayor was born in Fort Lee, and his lineage isn't Serbian, it's actually Croatian.
Anti-corruption group files motion in Roger Stone case saying pardon is void due to ‘self dealing’
The anti-corruption group Free Speech for the People filed a motion with Judge Amy Berman Jackson opposing the pardon of President Donald Trump's pal, Roger Stone.
According to the organization's president, John Bonifaz, there are "limits to the pardon power" that the president holds, "including when the power is abused for self-dealing purposes." He said that Stone's "commutation violates the Take Care Clause of the Constitution," and thus, should be declared void.