Given the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling striking down a Louisiana abortion law requiring physicians who perform abortions to hold “active admitting privileges” at a hospital within 30 miles of their facility, Maine Sen. Susan Collins might want to take a second look in her support of Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process.
Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the four more liberal justices and against the conservative court faction, which includes Kavanaugh, in the majority opinion. And Roberts did so despite his personal view about the law. Roberts said his vote was based on his deference to prior court decisions, particularly a 2016 decision, in which Roberts dissented, that struck down a nearly identical Texas law. Roberts clearly is dedicated to honoring precedent set by prior Supreme Court opinions, even those with which he disagrees.
Back in 2018, in her announcement that she would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, Collins placed great emphasis on what she said was his respect for court precedent. “To my knowledge,” she asserted, “Judge Kavanaugh is the first Supreme Court nominee to express the view that precedent is not merely a practice and tradition but rooted in Article 3 of our Constitution itself. He believes that precedent is not just a judicial policy, it is constitutionally dictated to pay attention and pay heed to rules of precedent. In other words, precedent isn’t a goal or an aspiration, it is a constitutional tenet that has to be followed, except in the most extraordinary circumstances.”
What a load of baloney!
One can hardly make the case that the Louisiana case involved “most extraordinary circumstances.” Those who have concerns that, given the opportunity, Kavanaugh will be among a Supreme Court majority voting to overturn Roe v. Wade, which establishes a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, should rightly be worried.
And Susan Collins should be held accountable for helping to put Kavanaugh in that position and feeding us all a bunch of hogwash in the process. It’s just one more reason, among many, to vote her out of office come November.