Swing Vote on Kavanaugh Says He’ll Be Great on Abortion Rights

Ron Sachs/CNP via ZUMA

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This is from an interview with Sen. Susan Collins recorded a few days ago:

Well, of course he’s going to repeal Roe. That doesn’t mean he’s literally going to be the author of an opinion that explicitly makes abortion illegal, but it does mean that everyone with a pulse knows perfectly well that he’ll be part of a reliable five-justice majority that will steadily dismantle abortion rights until Roe is repealed in all but name. That much is obvious. The part that puzzles me is what Collins really thinks. Is she really so credulous that she believes Kavanaugh will be a vote for reproductive rights? Does she know he isn’t, but doesn’t want to admit it in public? Or what?

Beats me. But there’s a second implication of this tweet too—one that’s so subtle it might not even be there. And yet, the “very close” phrasing somehow gives me the feeling that Collins—along with plenty of other Republicans—is actually more likely to vote for Kavanaugh because of the attempted rape allegations against him. In Collins’ mind, it’s turned the whole thing into a deeply unfair and partisan attack on Kavanaugh, and that raises her hackles. It would certainly raise mine if the tables were turned. That in turn makes her determined not to get conned by a liberal lynch mob, and thus more likely to vote for Kavanaugh.

This is just a guess on my part. Of course, I always figured she was a Yes vote on Kavanaugh from the moment he was announced, so maybe none of this has made any difference at all.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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