Susan Collins, I’ve read your statement of shock and dismay that at least two Supreme Court justices that you helped confirm have lied to you and turned on the American people to sweep away a human right that has been protected under the U.S. Constitution for almost a half-century. And I believe your statement lacks even a scintilla of credibility.
Why can’t you stand up and accept responsibility for the wrongs you have helped foist onto the people of Maine and untold millions of others in your so-called service as Maine’s senior United States senator?
You voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, two of Donald Trump’s three right-wing nominees, to the U.S. Supreme Court. Both were clearly a whole lot less than honest when they claimed that, if confirmed, they would honor and respect court precedent that asserted a woman’s right to control her own body a half-century ago. Millions of Americans knew they were lying at the time. And you supported them even with the knowledge that Trump stated publicly more than once that “I am putting pro-life justices on the court.” You did all of that while continually claiming that you supported a woman’s right to choose.
In doing so, you helped create the 5-4 court majority that, on June 24, 2022, stripped away a woman’s 50-year right to an abortion — even in cases involving incest, rape and the health of the mother. That right simply no longer exists under the United States Constitution. As President Joe Biden said after the decision, “the health and lives of women are now at risk.” Several times now, you’ve shown that either you’re extremely gullible or you don’t give a damn, Susan. You did so the first time you voted against Trump’s removal from office and then declared afterward that you thought he’d learned his lesson. You did that even after having watched his disgraceful, dishonest and treasonous behavior for three years. You did so again when you supported confirmation of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, blindly accepting their assurances that they would stand by court precedent.
You make a big deal about having sponsored legislation to codify the right granted by Roe v.Wade, but you stand firmly against ending the long-outdated Senate filibuster, which demands a majority of 60 votes for almost anything to get passed in the Senate. You deplore the “tyranny of the majority” (your words, not mine) but you obviously are just fine with the tyranny of the minority, which is what we have seen for far too long.
You once had the courage to object to Trump’s candidacy for president. But since then, you’ve shown yourself to be just one more in a cadre of cowardly, pathetic Republican senators unwilling to speak out while a frighteningly dangerous and militant minority across this country, backed by an extremist right-wing Supreme Court majority, tears our country and our democracy apart piece by piece.
Now it would be too little, too late, but will you finally find that courage again and acknowledge the untold harm you and your Republican colleagues have helped cause? Somehow, I doubt it.
Hugh Bowden of Ellsworth is a retired journalist and lifelong Mainer who served a term in the Maine Legislature as a Republican. He no longer recognizes the Republican Party to which he once belonged.