In the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins wants us to believe that she was deceived by Justice Kavanaugh when she was the deciding vote to elevate him to the Supreme Court. Given the self-described “political astuteness” of our five-term senator, it seems far-fetched, if not absurd, to believe Sen. Collins was duped by Justice Kavanaugh.
In fact, Sen. Collins knew that Kavanaugh’s “promise” to uphold Roe v. Wade was given to provide political cover for the Senator given her self-identified “pro-choice” position. Sen. Collins was also well aware that Kavanaugh was on a short list of candidates chosen by the Federalist Society, a group strongly opposed to abortion and Roe v. Wade. In addition, Collins’ decision to elevate Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court had major political implication for her upcoming 2020 re-election bid.
When Kavanaugh’s nomination came before the Senate, Collins was not on good terms with Trump and his supporters. Collins had angered them by opposing Trump’s 2016 presidential election and voting in favor of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Collins was facing the potential of a costly election battle for her Senate seat. Furthermore, she had displeased Senate Majority Leader McConnell by her vote on Obamacare. She needed McConnell and the GOP party apparatus to support her upcoming re-election.
Faced with the choice of voting against Kavanaugh and suffering a potential political backlash from her own party that might seriously jeopardize her re-election, or voting for Kavanaugh and appeasing Trump, McConnell and the GOP, Collins chose the latter.
Therefore, it is extremely inaccurate, if not disingenuous, for Collins to claim she was duped by Kavanaugh. In the end, Collins’ decision to elevate Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was never about preserving women’s rights; it was all about preserving her Senate seat.
Jonathan R. Stolley