Sen. Susan Collins has shown the state of Maine her true colors by voting to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren during the debate over the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to serve as U.S. attorney general.

Rule 19 was intended to promote order and civil discourse among fellow senators. However, in this instance, the discussion of Sessions related to his qualifications as attorney general, not to Sessions as a peer within the Senate.

There will be favorable and unfavorable discussion about any nominee (who just happened to be a sitting senator, in this case), and Collins should have supported Warren’s right to freely speak her piece. Misappropriating Rule 19 to shut off the opinion and evidence being presented by one senator is undemocratic.

In silencing Elizabeth Warren, Susan Collins showed that she is not the independent thinker who values open debate that she would like her constituents to believe.

This Senate vote is disturbing, and it is unacceptable that Collins is not adequately upholding the democratic values that make our country truly great.

Amy Lavallee


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