"A candidate for this important 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," Sen. Susan Collins, a key vote on Trump's SCOTUS nominee, says https://t.co/YM6EExkH9f pic.twitter.com/aDDmShDTxW— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 2, 2018
Senator Susan Collins’ vote could very well decide the future of abortion rights in the United Sates.
While the Republican senator has vowed not to vote in favor of a candidate who would look to overturn Roe v. Wade for the seat left vacant after Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, many people remember her vote also confirmed Neil Gorsuch.
Gorsuch recently sided with crisis pregnancy centers and rallied to allow Utah to defund Planned Parenthood.
Since Collins voted in favor of a justice like Gorsuch, the fact that abortion rights depend on her vote is a discomforting thought to say the least. But “pro-choice” advocates have come up with a plan to remind her to vote right this time.
Collins’ office has been receiving a huge number of coat hangers, courtesy of “pro-choice” advocates, hoping to avoid the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Coat hangers have long symbolized illegal abortion.
The Republicans enjoy a 51-49 majority in the Senate; therefore, Collins' vote holds a deciding importance in the upcoming vote for the confirmation of Kennedy’s replacement.
Retiring Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, who used to act as a swing vote, left the vacancy for President Donald Trump to fill in with a much more conservative candidate. Many believe this would result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision that legalized abortion back in 1973.
Needless to say, if the president was to appoint a conservative justice, very little stands in the way of the Republicans who enjoy a 51-49 majority in the Senate.
However, one Republican senator has put her foot down, claiming she would not vote in favor of a candidate who would look to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said the Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights is “settled law.”
“I would not support a nominee who demonstrated a hostility to Roe v. Wade,” Collins said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“A candidate for this important 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,” she added.
If two Republicans were to vote against Trump’s nominee, the POTUS and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would need to find at least on Democrat to vote in their favor. However, in the case of a 50-50 vote, Vice President Mike Pence’s vote will act as a decider.
Trump has already mentioned he will be referring back to the list of candidates he ordained when he chose Neil Gorsuch earlier in 2017 to replace Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat after his death.
Collins, one of the moderate Republicans, said she hoped Trump would not use the same list to pick Kennedy’s replacement.
The Republican senator, along with four other moderate senators ? Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) ? was invited by the POTUS to discuss the immensely important vacancy.
Collins said she suggested Trump expand his search than follow the pre-ordained list.
The senator claimed the president assured her, when choosing a nominee, he would not ask him his stance on Roe v. Wade.
“The president told me he would not ask that question,” she said on “State of the Union.”
However, it is highly unlikely any nominee from the list that included a conservative justice like Gorsuch will advocate for Roe v. Wade – especially since it was reportedly made with the help of The Federalist Society – a conservative legal think-tank that is severely antagonistic to reproductive rights.
Now, Trump’s nominee will fill in Kennedy’s seat, a vacancy that has been touted as the most significant Supreme Court vacancy in a generation.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts