The Atlantic

Susan Collins's Quixotic Defense of Roe

The Maine senator wants a Supreme Court nominee who will support precedent, but Trump's candidates aren't likely to say how they might rule on a challenge.
Source: Alex Wong / Getty / Katie Martin / The Atlantic

Susan Collins is an increasingly rare species. It’s not just that she’s a moderate Republican, or a northeastern Republican, or even a pro-choice Republican. It’s that she still believes in the honor system in Washington.

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement at the end of last month’s term has ignited heated political maneuvering over his replacement. President Trump is expected to announce his nominee to fill Kennedy’s Supreme Court seat on Monday, and it will test whether Collins’s faith is justified or shows itself to be as outdated and fragile as the many other norms discarded during the Trump era. Because the Republican margin in the Senate is slim and because she is a moderate, pro-choice member, the Maine senator has quickly become the center of speculation about the fate of Trump’s nominee. If Democrats maintain a united front, which is never a sure thing, Collins could be the swing vote, determining whether a nominee makes it to the bench or goes the way of Robert Bork.

“I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to, because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law,” .

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