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.”
Trump’s ‘dysfunctional’ legal team has made ‘every kind of error’ possible trying to ‘overturn’ election: Legal experts
Legal experts are stunned at how badly President Donald Trump's legal team has handled his legal challenges to an election loss.
Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis boasted at last week's baffling news conference that they were leading an "elite strike force" of lawyers to overturn the 2020 election results, but Powell has already been fired and they keep losing their cases, reported NBC News.
"It's beyond an embarrassment," said Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor and current MSNBC legal analyst. "It's both really poor lawyering and it has the worst possible motive behind it. It's all in the name of overturning the will of American voter."
‘Sore loser’ doesn’t do justice to the epic tantrum Trump is having: columnist
Writing in the Washington Post this Tuesday, columnist Dana Milbank says that when it comes to Donald Trump's stint in the White House, it's all over except for the pouting.
"Back during the Florida recount in 2000, George W. Bush loyalists made T-shirts altering the Gore-Lieberman logo to say 'Sore-Loserman.' But 'sore loser' doesn’t do justice to the epic tantrum President Trump has performed to assuage his narcissistic injury. Trump-Pence has become Rump-Nonsense," Milbank writes.
According to Milbank, Trump's loss by more than 6 million votes is just the beginning regarding his current losing streak. He has lost in every single post-election ballot-counting challenge, and he's also losing key Republican allies, such as Chris Christie, who called Trump’s legal team’s antics a “national embarrassment.”
Conservative fears that Trump-loving conspiracy nuts could hand Democrats the Senate
Conservative National Review editor Rich Lowry is worried that Trump-loving conspiracy nuts could hand Democrats the Senate during next month's run-off elections in Georgia.
Writing at NRO's "The Corner" blog, Lowry points to recent comments made by President Donald Trump and Trump-backing attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell that attack Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for following the law and certifying President-elect Joe Biden's win in the Peach State.