Sen. Susan Collins Says Brett Kavanaugh Believes the Right to Abortion is Settled Law

Collins has said she would not support a Supreme Court nominee who would overturn Roe.

Tom Williams/Associated Press

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

Brett Kavanaugh believes that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, is “settled law,” Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) told reporters outside her office on Tuesday. Collins made the statement after a highly-anticipated meeting with Kavanaugh, who is President Trump’s nominee to fill the vacant seat on the high court. 

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to select Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, and abortion-rights advocates worry that Kavanaugh, a conservative Washington DC appellate court judge and former President George W. Bush staffer, will do just that. His nomination last month set off a wave of concern that the right to abortion could be seriously undermined, or completely done away with, in a matter of years. 

Collins, a proponent of abortion rights and a moderate Republican who is regarded as a swing vote in Kavanaugh’s nomination, has said that she would not support a nominee for the high court who is hostile to Roe. Ahead of the meeting on Tuesday, Collins told reporters that she planned to ask Kavanaugh about his praise for Justice William Rehnquist’s dissent in the Roe case. Her statement after their meeting suggests she is satisfied with his position on the issue.  

“We talked about whether he considered Roe to be settled law,” Collins told reporters after her meeting with Kavanaugh. “He said that he agreed with what Justice Roberts said at his nomination hearing, in which he said that it was settled law.”

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate