For Immediate Release

Susan Collins Intentionally Misled the Public about Kavanaugh: She Must be Held Accountable for Kavanaugh’s War on Roe

WASHINGTON - Throughout Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination process, Senator Susan Collins intentionally misled the public by saying that Kavanaugh did not pose a threat to Roe v. Wade’s protections for women and families. Yet, Kavanaugh’s dissent, in one of his first abortion cases, the recent June Medical Services v. Gee makes clear his intent to wage war on Roe.  

It only took Kavanaugh four months into his lifetime appointment on the bench to prove that Susan Collins’ insistence that he would respect precedent was  a complete lie. And now, she must own that, and answer to the millions of people in this country (and the vast majority who support Roe) who thought they could count on her to keep her word on her commitment to preserving Roe.

Collins’ misinformation campaign continued as recently as two months ago when she said that she felt “vindicated” when Kavanaugh voted against having the Supreme Court hear a case involving Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that the case did not actually address access to abortion care.

Susan Collins claims to support women and our fundamental freedoms but her defense of Kavanaugh in the examples below show that she intentionally covered up the fact that he is partisan justice who is willing to overturn precedent to achieve a final goal of criminalizing abortion and punishing women.

Before Kavanaugh Was Nominated, Collins Said On ABC News That She Would Not Vote For Any Nominee Who Would Overturn Roe v. Wade.
 
“I’m going to have an in depth discussion with the nominee and I believe very much that Roe v. Wade is settled law, as it has been described by Chief Justice Roberts. It has been established as a constitutional right for 46 year -- 45 years, and was reaffirmed 26 years ago.
 
So a nominee position, whether or not they respect precedent, will tell me a lot about whether or not they would overturn Roe v. Wade.
 
A candidate of this import position who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me, because that would indicate an activist agenda that I don’t want to see a judge have.
 
And that would indicate to me a failure to respect precedent of fundamental tenet of our judicial system.”
 
[ABC News, 7/1/18]
 
Collins Said That She Would Not Support A Nominee Who Had Demonstrated Hostility Toward Roe 

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“I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law,’ Collins said in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.”

[Vox, 7/1/18]
 
Following her in-person meeting with Judge Kavanaugh, Senator Collins released this statement:

“In a more than two-hour meeting in my office today, Judge Kavanaugh and I had a productive, informative discussion about a wide range of issues, including: his judicial philosophy, his respect for precedent, and the importance of an independent judiciary. We also discussed Roe v. Wade... I also was pleased to learn that Judge Kavanaugh believes, as I do, that Article III of the Constitution was intended to include the concept of precedent and that he sees precedent as much more than simply a matter of practice and tradition. In addition, he expressed agreement with Chief Justice Roberts’ confirmation hearing statement that Roe is settled precedent and entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis.

 [Quorum, 9/21/18]
 
Announcing her decision to support Kavanaugh in a public address, Collins argued that he stood out from past nominees as the “first nominee” ever to express such reverence for precedent, going so far as to label it a “constitutional tenet.”

Collins went on to attack Kavanaugh’s critics and suggest that he will “work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court so that we have far fewer 5 to 4 decisions.” From a full transcript of her October 5th statement:

To my knowledge, 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.
[...]
Noting that Roe v. Wade was decided 45 years ago and reaffirmed 19 years later in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, I asked Judge Kavanaugh whether the passage of time is relevant to following precedent. He said decisions become part of our legal framework with the passage of time and that honoring precedent is essential to maintaining public confidence.
[...]
Finally, in his testimony, he noted repeatedly that Roe had been upheld by Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, describing it as a precedent. When I asked him would it be sufficient to overturn a long-established precedent if five current justices believed that it was wrongly decided, he emphatically said “no.”
[...]
Despite the turbulent, bitter fight surrounding his nomination, my fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court so that we have far fewer 5 to 4 decisions and so that public confidence in our judiciary and our highest court is restored.”
 
[Vox, 10/5/18]
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NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as "one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America."

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