Collins's Vote a Remarkable Voice of Reason

October 5, 2018

In finally announcing that she would vote in favor of advancing Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, at 3 p.m. on October 5th, Maine Senator Susan Collins provided a stirring defense of the Constitution and of the U.S. Senate itself. Collins who is recognized as a leading Republican moderate used the announcement of her vote as an appeal to the reason of the “moderate white women” voters who are the target of the female enrage movement built against Kavanaugh’s confirmation and for the impeachment of Donald Trump if the Democrats take the Congress on November 6th. Following Collins’ speech, Joe Manchin of West Virginia said that he also was voting to confirm which means that Brett Kavanaugh will be the next Supreme Court Justice barring any last minute changes when the voting is completed tomorrow, Saturday.

In her speech, Collins emphasized that from the beginning “special interest groups” had transformed the Senate’s solemn deliberative process into something resembling “a gutter level political campaign.” She pointed out that there was a race by these groups to condemn the nomination even before Judge Kavanaugh’s name was announced, with one group tellingly sending out a mass mailing which said “We oppose President Trump’s nomination of XX to the U.S. Supreme Court.” She pointed out that throughout the process there were deliberate misrepresentations of Kavanaugh’s judicial opinions and his views which were no sooner knocked down and debunked than they appeared again through social media. This resulted in what Collins’ described as a “frenzy” with more dark money spent on defeating a judicial candidate than at any time in American history.

She then provided her audience with a lecture on the “advise and consent” function of the U.S. Constitution and how the founders intended that it be used, citing Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist No. 76. She explained that in performing her duty in this role, she reviewed every single one of Kavanaugh’s judicial decisions, and his law review articles and speeches, using the Congressional Research Service to assist her in this review. She met with Kavanaugh personally for three hours. She met with thousands of her constituents on both sides of the Kavanaugh debate. She cited Kavanaugh’s citation to four Supreme Court cases, Marbury v. Madison, Youngstown Steel v. Sawyer, U.S. v. Nixon, and Brown v. Board of Education as the Supreme Court’s most significant rulings. She said that the fact that he cited those four cases demonstrated that the narrative produced by special interest groups about his judicial views was false as all represent significant constitutional precedents checking executive powers. In addition, she cited Kavanaugh’s ruling in Hamden v. United States in which he found the Bush Administration military tribunal convictions of terrorists to be unlawful.

Collins concluded by discussing the Blasey Ford accusations and noting that they simply did not meet any standard for establishing their veracity other than belief. She condemned what she called the victimization of Ford by her partisan advocates and the “guilty until proven innocent” standard which they advanced.