The new Alabama abortion law is putting Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Sen. Susan Collins back in the public eye.
Kavanaugh has been in the High Court for less than nine months after his dramatic confirmation hearings, but his nomination caused a torrent of frustration for supporters of abortion rights. They are fearful that unlike conservative centrist Justice Anthony Kennedy, he would consistently side with the right on the issue.
Now critics are taking aim at Collins, the Maine Republican who essentially ensured his confirmation last October and said she was convinced Kavanaugh would not overturn Roe v. Wade.
Collins told CNN’s Manu Raju on Thursday that she doesn’t believe Kavanaugh would uphold the Alabama law.
“The Alabama law is a terrible law — it’s very extreme — it essentially bans all abortions. I can’t imagine that any justice could find that to be consistent with the previous precedents,” Collins said.
But two of Collins’s Senate colleagues say the senator should have been more skeptical of Kavanaugh.
“I don’t know what she was thinking,” Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.
In the coming weeks, Kavanaugh will likely cast votes that will further illuminate his position on the future of abortion rights. Currently, the justices are considering whether to take up for next term provisions of three laws in two states that have been blocked by the lower courts. An Indiana provision, says that a state can prohibit abortions based solely on the race, sex or disability of the fetus. Another requires that fetal remains be buried or cremated. A third mandates that an individual seeking an abortion obtain an ultrasound at least 18 hours before the procedure.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, said she didn’t believe Kavanaugh was being truthful during his hearings when he testified.
“I think his statement was dishonest and disingenuous,” Gillibrand said on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Wednesday.
“But the American people are watching and if he lied under oath in the hearings, that’s going to be problematic so I hope the American people and American women everywhere will hold this President accountable and will protest the extreme decisions by legislatures and governors being signed into law,” she added. “It is literally turning back the clock on settled law.”