Pro-Abortion Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski Still Undecided on Brett Kavanaugh

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 3, 2018   |   4:31PM   |   Washington, DC

The confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is not a sure thing as two swing-vote Republican Senators remain undecided about their votes.

The Washington Times reports neither Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine nor Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have said how they will vote on Kavanaugh, a conservative praised by pro-life groups for his judicial record. Neither have met with him one-on-one either.

Republicans hold a slim, two-member majority in the U.S. Senate, and Collins and Murkowski are unreliable. Both have pro-abortion voting records, though they did vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s first nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch.

Every vote counts, and the abortion industry knows it. With the future of Roe v. Wade at stake, Planned Parenthood, NARAL and other pro-abortion groups are pouring millions of dollars into the mid-term elections and lobbying efforts against Kavanaugh.

Collins met with one pro-abortion group this week to discuss the Supreme Court and other issues, according to The Times Record.

The local news reports:

Collins has said she would “not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility” to Roe v. Wade, but she has also praised Kavanaugh’s credentials and respect for precedent.

Collins, in a brief phone interview Thursday, said she has read the Kavanaugh speech, but wants to take a look at his full record. Collins was in Maine on Thursday and did not meet with the group from Planned Parenthood, but she did meet with another liberal pro-choice group, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, on Wednesday.

“I spent an hour and a half with experts today, met with constituents yesterday who are very concerned with that issue (abortion), and others. And I am doing a careful review,” Collins said. “The reason I’m only one of two Republicans who have not yet met with (Kavanaugh), is because I want to make sure I’ve done a very thorough review of everything before I question him personally. It is too early to make a determination on his nomination.”

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Other swing votes include several moderately pro-life Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. They both voted to confirm Gorsuch; however, their party leaders and abortion activists also are lobbying them to oppose Trump’s choice.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, another Democrat who claims to be pro-life, already has said he will oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Pro-life Vice President Mike Pence can serve as a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, as he has on other pro-life legislation in the past.

In a column for USA Today, Rutgers University Professor Ross K. Baker explained what is at stake for these swing-vote Republicans and Democrats, especially with the upcoming mid-term elections:

Nothing that either Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins or Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski have done or said suggests that either of them will jump ship. Nonetheless, Democratic activists have been hounding Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to coerce West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota and Indiana’s Sen. Joe Donnelly into falling on their swords by voting against Kavanaugh. Such acts of self-sacrifice would be unimaginable in today’s Senate where careers are not tossed away lightly. And even in the unlikely event that Schumer could persuade these Democrats to walk the plank, the party would end up being far worse off than it is now.

The Washington Times reports Democrat leaders are being accused of trying to obstruct Kavanaugh’s confirmation until after the November elections by requesting 4 million pages of documents for review. They hope to re-win the Senate in November and permanently block Trump from appointing conservatives to the high court.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will vote prior to the mid-term elections on confirming Kavanaugh.

A federal judge, Kavanaugh has served on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C. for more than a decade, where he developed an extensive record of protecting religious liberty and enforcing restrictions on abortion. Pro-life leaders believe he would do the same on the U.S. Supreme Court.

National pro-life leaders have expressed high hopes for Kavanaugh and the future of unborn babies’ rights.