Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is pretty irritating, I have to admit. She’s always saying, essentially, Well, I don’t know, I just might not be a Republican today, okay?
I guess that’s what a Republican needs to do to survive in the Northeast. Still, it’s annoying.
Anyway, Collins did not say Sunday during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that she will oppose any Supreme Court nominee who is hostile to Roe v. Wade, as some reports are suggesting. She said she would oppose anyone who admitted it.
“I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade,” she said.
Get it? The key word here is “demonstrated.” Nobody talks like that except attorneys and politicians, who speak very, very carefully – so as to be MISunderstood.
Here’s the full exchange. It occurs near the video at the bottom of this post.
COLLINS: I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade, because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law.
And I believe that that is a very important, fundamental tenet of our judicial system, which, as Chief Justice Roberts says, helps to promote stability and even-handedness.
TAPPER: So, you will not support anyone who has demonstrated hostility towards Roe vs. Wade, but there are plenty of justices that The Federalist Society and other experts likely think will vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade, but they don’t have a record of hostility towards Roe vs. Wade.
For instance, don’t you think, just as an academic matter, Neil Gorsuch, for whom you voted, don’t you think he is probably going to vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade if given the chance?
COLLINS: I actually don’t.
I had a very long discussion with Justice Gorsuch in my office, and he pointed out to me that he is a co-author of a whole book on precedent. So, someone who devotes that much time to writing a book on precedent, I think, understands how important a principle that is in our judicial system.
So she tries to bury this whole thing in respecting “precedent.” As if Roe v. Wade is a fine red wine that gets more delicious with age.
On ABC News she went a little further, saying someone who would overturn Roe V. Wade would not be acceptable to her. But again, look closely at what she says. She not going to ask the question:
So a nominee position, whether or not they respect precedent, will tell me a lot about whether or not they would overturn Roe v. Wade. A candidate of this import 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 . . .
I don’t like to go into the details of my conversation with the president, but he did tell me that he would not be asking that question. And indeed, it would be inappropriate to ask a judge nominee on how they are going to vote in a future case.
See? She’s going to try to infer his position.
And let’s just note here how deeply ironic it is that she is stating that she doesn’t want an “activist” judge who woiuld overturn Roe v. Wade, when the decision is the most famous example of judicial activism in history.
Yeah, I get precedent. But in matters of life and death, precedent goes out the window. And she knows that. Collins is not making a serious point about judicial philosophy. She is making a serious point about getting reelected in Maine.
But she is not saying she will oppose a conservative justice who would overturn Roe V. Wade.