Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) met with President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday and said that Kavanaugh agreed that Roe v. Wade is settled law.
Sen. Collins is one of the few Republican senators who have yet to signal her support for Trump’s nominee. Republicans have a slim majority in the Senate, and many pundits view Collins’s support for Kavanaugh as vital for his confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Collins’s principal issue for confirming Kavanaugh is whether the nominee believes in the constitutionality of Roe and whether Kavanaugh, as a justice on the Supreme Court, might overthrow that case.
Sen. Collins told reporters on Tuesday that Kavanaugh agreed with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts that Roe is “settled law.”
Breitbart News Senior Legal Editor Ken Klukowski explained that lots of pro-life legislation can be ruled as constitutional without overruling Roe and that leftists want to use the possibility of Roe being overturned as a “scare tactic” to galvanize their base.
“All sorts of legislation that advance a pro-life agenda can succeed without overruling Roe v. Wade,” explained Klukowski. “It is unlikely that the fate of Roe turns on this Supreme Court appointment and very likely that pro-abortion activists are just using Roe as a scare tactic.”
Collins always raises this issue with every Supreme Court nominee from both political parties, including also Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and most recently Neil Gorsuch. All of them agree with her that Roe is settled law, but that phrase does not necessarily mean the same thing to everyone. At minimum, the term means that the Supreme Court decision in question is still on the books and currently in force. No one can deny it is a true statement that there is current precedent holding there is a constitutional right to abortion.
Sen. Collins said that she spoke with Kavanaugh for roughly two hours and they spoke “at length” about judicial precedent and abortion.
The Maine Republican said that she will announce her vote after the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Supreme Court nomination hearings starting on September 4.
Kavanaugh will also meet with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on Tuesday.
Recently, the Supreme Court Justice nominee met with Sens. Joe Donelly (D-MO), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). All three Democratic senators voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court last year.
The day after President Trump nominated Kavanaugh for Supreme Court in July, Sen. Collins said, “it’ll be very difficult for anyone to argue” that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh “is not qualified.”
Collins said in July that she would likely oppose any Supreme Court Justice nominee who does not support Roe. Collins said, “I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade. She added that Roe established abortion as a “constitutional right.”