Remember when Sen. Susan Collins was so certain that Supreme Court nominee Brett “I like beer” Kavanaugh would respect the precedent of Roe v. Wade? Remember when she said this:
That was in her floor statement, during which she finally admitted what everyone knew she was going to do: vote for this alleged sexual assaulter who had already been caught lying to the Senate and who was pretty much assuredly not going to protect the rights of any American who isn’t a millionaire.
“In short,” she said, “his views on honoring precedent would preclude attempts to do by stealth that which one has committed not to do overtly.” He stood by while the court—in stealth—just ended decades of Supreme Court precedent on the right to an abortion. He could have had a word with Samuel Alito, the justice to whom abortion providers in Texas had appealed to block this law. He could have said, “No, we can’t do this in stealth.” He did not.
Let this be an instructive moment for all those groups who supported Collins—particularly Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign—when they start looking at Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s reelection campaign in 2024.
What happened in this Supreme Court on the Texas case is “a de facto overturning of Roe before the Supreme Court has time to hear the Mississippi case,” Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson said of the court’s silence in the Texas case—exactly what Collins said wouldn’t happen. “Protecting this right is important to me,” she said in that floor statement in support of Kavanaugh.
“As Judge Kavanaugh asserted to me,” she continued, “a long-established precedent is not something to be trimmed, narrowed, discarded, or overlooked. Its roots in the Constitution give the concept of stare decisis greater weight such that precedent can’t be trimmed or narrowed simply because a judge might want to on a whim,” she said. Well, she just found out, didn’t she? Not that she’s going to mention it or anything now. In fact, she’s been absolutely silent on the whole thing.
Coincidentally, so has Sinema. Not a peep from her on this absolutely radical decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe essentially by default. Not even a “thoughts and prayers” or “fighting” tweet, like most of her Democratic colleagues.
The Supreme Court is not going to stop at abortion rights. The precedent in Obgerfell granting marriage equality is no safer than Roe. It’s only going to take a challenge coming up through the radical appeals court in the 5th Circuit to happen.
Right now, both Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign are among Sinema’s supporters. Let Collins be a lesson to them.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.