Senator Collins, do not confirm Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.
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Dear Senator Collins,
In the coming weeks and perhaps months, you will have to make an unenviable choice that will doubtlessly jeopardise your job, your legacy, and the state of politics in the United States for generations. But you chose public life, and these are the decisions that accompany it. Thus far you have tried to continue walking the tightrope as a moderate Republican, and have only been successful this far due to the unique properties of Maine politics. However, we are reaching a flashpoint, and you will no longer be able to carry on as though this is business as usual. You must decide whether it is acceptable for a man who will in all probability be charged with numerous crimes or improprieties at the conclusion of the Mueller investigation to appoint his own judge. You must decide whether or not to allow a man that has subverted every norm in American life and pushed an agenda that can only be described as proto-fascist to shape the landscape of the highest court in the land for generations.
You have always been a voice for moderation and centrist reasoning. You showed courage in defeating the toxic skinny repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but were duped by Senate Leader McConnell into voting for the tax reforms. In that latter case, the concessions you held out for never materialised. Do you think it reasonable to believe there will be any more good faith from the president and congressional leadership in the battle to come? Mr. Kavanaugh, while certainly the 'establishment' republican nominee given the other choices, struggled to be appointed to the bench of the Court of Appeals in 2003 because he was deemed too partisan and too extreme. There is no reason to believe his views have changed, and if he is too extreme for the lower courts, he is certainly too extreme to make decisions in the highest court in the land.
In recent statements you have demonstrated a wilful naiveté, expressing a wish to examine the merits of each nominee individually. This would be to ignore President Trump’s express intentions of selecting only extreme nominees with a litmus test selecting for judges that will overturn Roe v Wade. It would be irresponsible for you not to believe him on this point. Whilst Mr. Kavanaugh has not expressed his opposition to Roe in his rulings, it is possible to look at his rulings that have touched on the subject - particularly in his dissent from a ruling allowing an undocumented teen to seek an abortion - and feel very alarmed. Thus, you will either break your word on not considering any nominee that is hostile towards Roe, or you not confirm Brett Kavanaugh, there is no other alternative.
This past week you have tried to quell fears about Roe by claiming that you believe Justices Gorsuch and Roberts would not overturn Roe as they are committed to precedent. This is demonstrably untrue, as just on the 27th they voted to overturn a 40-year-old precedent in order to dramatically reduce the collective bargaining power of public sector workers. Clearly your idea of what respecting precedent looks like warrants interrogation. If you truly do not wish to see Roe overturned, please stop trying to create enough doubt about the results of this appointment and work with Senate democrats to moderate this fight.
Were Roe to be overturned, it would mean the end of bodily autonomy for women in numerous states. Women for whom carrying a pregnancy through to term endangers their own health will die. Women and young girls who become pregnant through rape or incest will be forever traumatised by being forced to bring their abuser’s child into the world. Were gay marriage to be overturned, people like myself would reduced once more to second class citizenship, without the same rights to commit to the people we love. Were the SCOTUS to further corrupt our campaign finance laws with decisions like Citizens United, it may irreparably damage our democratic process.
We are barreling towards a constitutional crisis the likes of which our country has never seen. We have a President who was elected at the behest of a foreign leader, and who very credibly may have conspired with that foreign leader. The Mueller investigation is already in significant danger, and it is entirely probable that before its conclusion there will be a matter that needs to be settled by the SCOTUS. Quite possibly that matter will be deciding whether the President needs to submit to a subpoena, or even whether the President can be indicted. Do not allow the President to appoint his own saviour to the court.
Brett Kavanaugh has made his views on this point very clear on this point. He believes the POTUS is above the law, and should not be subject to criminal investigation or civil litigation. Mr. Kavanaugh's appointment would give President Trump, the most corrupt political leader our country has ever seen, carte blanche to abuse his power for his own personal gain. You cannot allow this to happen. Indeed, the very fact that the Federalist Society only added him to this list of nominees in the past year as the Mueller investigation has heated up speaks to his value in President Trump's current plight.
Ultimately your choice will come down to one thing: do you think this is worth it? Do you think endangering the civil liberties of nearly every protected group is worth the modest gains to your agenda? Are tax cuts worth sacrificing a gay person’s right to see their spouse in a religious hospital? Is tight border control worth seeing children as young as a few months old torn from their parents and placed into cages? Is deregulation worth imperiling the lives of black and minority ethnic people across the nation? Are you ready to make that Faustian bargain, or are you going to decide that the cost of bringing the court this far to the right is too high?
The decision is yours to make, Senator Collins, but please hear our case before you choose.
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