The political battle over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh continues to reverberate in Maine, where the focus remains on the potential swing vote of Sen. Susan Collins.

On Saturday, former Maine Sen. George Mitchell told a Portland television station that he would oppose Kavanaugh if he still had a vote and predicted turmoil if the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion case is reversed.

“Frankly, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, there will be social upheaval in this country,” Mitchell told News Center Maine (WCSH/WLBZ). “I think it would be a dramatic step backwards. It will have a profound effect on women all across the country, whatever their political views are, wherever they come from. And I think it is a risk our country should not take.”

Mitchell, a Democrat whose tenure as Senate majority leader included several Supreme Court appointments, nonetheless told News Center Maine that he believes Kavanaugh’s nomination will prevail. Mitchell was attending a private campaign event in Portland for Democratic gubernatorial nominee and Attorney General Janet Mills.

Elsewhere in Portland, meanwhile, several dozen opponents to Kavanaugh marched through parts of the Old Port near Monument Square on Saturday afternoon in hopes of pressuring Collins. Members also staged a “die-in” – in which protesters lie on the ground – in front of a business.

Portland police said there were no problems or arrests during the rally.


With Republicans holding a razor-thin 51-49 majority in the Senate, all eyes are on Collins and fellow Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska ahead of a vote on Kavanaugh. Both Collins and Murkowski support women’s rights to a legal abortion, but abortion rights groups believe that Kavanaugh could provide the critical fifth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Collins has said she could not support a nominee who “demonstrated hostility” toward the landmark 1973 case.

On Friday, Collins said she believes based on Kavanaugh’s statements and comments to her that he would respect the precedent set by Roe v. Wade and earlier Supreme Court cases that protected women’s privacy. Collins said she was unconcerned about a 2003 email from Kavanaugh in which he wrote the he was “not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land … since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so.”

Nonetheless, Collins maintains that she has not made a final decision on Kavanaugh.

“I know it’s frustrating to the press, but until I finish my review I’m going to defer my decision-making,” Collins said Friday in Scarborough. “I have been involved in confirmation hearings for six Supreme Court justices. I have always waited until hearings are done and until I have reviewed the paperwork and cases, et cetera.”

The traditional media and social media blitz aimed at Collins continued on Saturday, however. Organizations supportive of and opposed to Kavanaugh are airing television ads urging Mainers to contact Collins, while opponents of the nominee posted a stream of comments on Maine politics-themed Twitter feeds on Saturday calling on Maine’s senior senator to vote against him.


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