'Deliberately misled a nation': Susan Collins held to account for voting in conservative Supreme Court justices
Susan Collins photo by Keith Mellnick

On Friday, writing for The Nation, columnist John Nichols criticized Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) for still refusing to take responsibility for her role in voting in the Supreme Court justices who are poised to strike down a half century of abortion rights.

"Collins has so far failed to acknowledge that her advocacy for former President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the court cleared the way for this new avenue of assault on reproductive rights," wrote Nichols. "And, while she now says she's supportive of legislative efforts to address the threat to abortion rights, her loyalty to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell makes it highly unlikely that Collins will support overturning the Senate filibuster in order to codify federal protections for the right to choose."

The Court is poised to hear a challenge to a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi, which itself could severely undermine the guarantee in Roe v. Wade of the right to an abortion pre-viability — but it already has done tremendous damage by not putting on hold an extreme Texas law that essentially outlaws abortion and create an army of private vigilante snitches to collect bounties selling out doctors, clinics, and other facilitators. This is due in large part to Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the court.

Collins, noted Nichols, "provided essential cover for Kavanaugh — assuring her fellow senators and people across the country that the former Bush administration aide would not work to undermine, let alone overturn, the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision." She now defends her actions by saying she voted against Amy Coney Barrett — but this was all done after she already solidified the vote for Kavanaugh, who openly parroted right-wing misinformation about birth control and abortion at his hearing.

"These are Susan Collins's judges and therefore her legacy" said Mainers for Accountable Leadership founder Marie Follayttar in a recent statement, the report noted. "She will forever be the U.S. Senator who deliberately misled a nation and her constituents in a 43-minute self-righteous Senate floor speech where she asserted that she believed Brett M. Kavanaugh's commitment to settled law and condemned the advocacy of scared and committed constituents."

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