In a recent “Maine Calling” interview on Maine Public Radio, Sen. Susan Collins was challenged about her support for several federal judicial nominees who had received “unqualified” ratings from the nonpartisan American Bar Association.

Sen. Collins was ready for this question and gave a lengthy answer in which she claimed to support only nominees who could separate their personal from their professional opinions. She then described several nominees whom she had opposed on this basis.

Unfortunately, she was not asked about the many judicial nominees whom she had supported. Here are some of the recent nominees Susan Collins has backed for lifetime appointments:

• Stephen Clark, director of Lawyers for Life, a longtime activist against women’s reproductive rights and same-sex marriage.

• David Porter, whose only judicial experience is as a law clerk in the early 1990s. He has criticized Roe v. Wade, opposes gay marriage and is a vocal Affordable Care Act opponent.

• Andrew Oldham, an ideological conservative involved with mostly unsuccessful litigation to limit reproductive rights and challenge the ACA. His ideological bias is likely to follow him to the bench.

• Kyle Duncan, well known for litigating conservative religious causes and fighting protections for reproductive and LGBTQ rights. He has indicated he will not respect precedent when it conflicts with his own beliefs.

The senator’s claims of integrity in her votes ring hollow. She is no “passionate moderate,” as commentator Morton Kondracke has called her, but instead a shill for an extremist effort to undermine our civil rights through transformation of the courts.

Barbara Shaw


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