Demanding that Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) face consequences should she vote to confirm anti-choice extremist Judge Brett Kavanaugh for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, healthcare activist Ady Barkan has successfully raised more than $500,000 for whomever challenges the four-term senator in 2020, should she vote for approval.
About $250,000 of those funds have poured in since Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing began on Tuesday, as Americans have watched President Donald Trump's nominee dodge straightforward questions about women's right to abortion care, and Senate Republicans dismiss Democrats' objections to the hearing just hours after 42,000 pages of documents about Kavanaugh's career were released.
"This nomination is about more than just a position on the Supreme Court," Barkan said in a statement. "It is about the future of this country. I believe in a future in which we can all be free. That's why I am calling on each Senator to Be a Hero and #CancelKavanaugh."
Barkan began his "Be A Hero" campaign fundraiser after Kavanaugh's nomination was announced in July, asking Americans to pledge $20.20 to go to Collins's challenger, should she vote for the judge. Should she vote no, the funds would be returned to the millions of Americans who have donated.
After Monday's document dump, containing records of Kavanaugh's time working the George W. Bush administration, Barkan asked supporters for a total of $42,000—a request that was easily reached within 24 hours.
"We overwhelmingly tripled that request. The funds keep pouring in mostly from the residents of Maine," Barkan said.
Mainers have aggressively targeted Collins since the nomination was announced, as they did last summer when her vote was desperately needed by Americans who count on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for health insurance coverage, with the Republicans threatening to repeal the law.
Collins identifies herself as a "moderate" Republican, claiming to be pro-choice despite the fact that she voted for Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, anti-choice Justice Neil Gorsuch, last year as well as a number of other anti-choice judges.
A thing that keeps happening that gets no attention: pro-choice GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are voting to confirm lifetime federal judges who are incredibly anti-choice. https://t.co/nrhxnyafTO
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) April 26, 2018
BREAKING: Susan Collins will vote for any anti-choice nominee who does not say out loud "I will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade." #mepolitics
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) July 1, 2018
Collins has not stated definitively how she will vote on Kavanaugh, but said after meeting with him in August that he saw Roe vs. Wade as "settled law"—a statement he has echoed numerous times in his hearings as he's attempted to deflect concerns that he could be the deciding vote in overturning the landmark case, should one of 13 abortion rights cases currently stalled in federal appeals courts make it to the high court.
Kavanaugh's anti-choice views have been clear since before he was nominated. Last year, he praised former Justice William Rehnquist's dissent in Roe.
He also voted in 2017 to delay the abortion a young immigrant in U.S. custody was seeking. On Thursday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) pointed out that despite Kavanaugh's suggestions that he would observe "settled law" and "judicial precedent" if confirmed, he blatantly flouted precedent when delaying the woman's care after she had obtained permission from a judge to have an abortion.
Kavanaugh told us over and over that he thought Jane Doe needed help making her decision. SHE. MADE. HER. DECISION.
Doe fulfilled the requirements of Texas law. She BEGGED the court to let her go through with HER choice. Kavanaugh ignored precedent & denied her. #StopKavanaugh pic.twitter.com/QECSiEhZV6
— NARAL (@NARAL) September 6, 2018
Barkan's campaign continued to gather steam as the confirmation hearing shed more and more light on his extreme anti-choice views. Also on Thursday, the New York Times published a leaked 2003 email from Kavanaugh in which he wrote:
I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so.
Kavanaugh again dodged a question from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) about the email, saying he had simply been stating a fact about then-Justices Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas's opinions. But critics on Twitter were outraged at the crystal-clear message of the email: that with a fourth anti-choice justice, the court could indeed "overrule the precedent."
The email should provide more than enough evidence for Collins, they argued, that Kavanaugh would not commit to upholding Roe vs. Wade simply because it is "settled law."
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) September 6, 2018
BREAKING: Leaked emails show Kavanaugh not only believes Supreme Court precedent can "always" be overturned, he said Roe v. Wade is not settled law. This directly contradicts what he's said in his hearing — but confirms what we already knew. What else is he hiding? #StopKavanaugh pic.twitter.com/1JRGnl2THU
— NWLC (@nwlc) September 6, 2018