When Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) spoke about justifying voting for then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, she said Kavanaugh assured her Roe v. Wade was “settled law.” The same goes for when Collins spoke to Justice Neil Gorsuch, saying in their conversation he pointed out to her “that he is a co-author of a whole book on precedent.” A leaked draft opinion might indicate both men have signed on to overturn the 1973 landmark decision, and the Senator from Maine is taken back by how they possibly could not have told her the truth.
According to The Hill, Sen. Collins released a statement saying that the draft opinion does not line up with the conversations she had with Justice Gorsuch and Kavanaugh before their confirmations.
“If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office,” Collins said in a statement.
“Obviously, we won’t know each Justice’s decision and reasoning until the Supreme Court officially announces its opinion in this case,” she added.
Collins’ voting history concerning abortion rights has been inconsistent, to say the least. She opposed the Women’s Health Protection Act in September 2021, stating, “Unfortunately, the House Democrats’ bill goes far beyond codifying Roe and Casey. For example, their legislation would severely weaken protections afforded to health care providers who refuse to perform abortions on religious or moral grounds.”
Later in December, Collins stated she supports codifying Roe v. Wade into law. The senator even introduced a bill with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to make that so “without undercutting statutes that have been in place for decades and provide basic conscience protections that are relied upon by health care providers who have religious objections to performing abortions.”
The support for women’s reproductive rights from Sen. Collins always comes with caveats. For a representative who said “she would not vote in favor of a nominee who had “demonstrated hostility” toward Roe v. Wade,” that backfired considerably.