Following up on the efforts last week of Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to thwart the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, liberal groups are campaigning to sway possible swing-vote Republican senators.
Two progressive organizations in Maine have launched a campaign to raise $1.3 million to donate to a future opponent of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh. A video on the groups’ website tells Collins to “Be a hero and vote no, and if you don’t, we will replace you.” Collins, who faces reelection in 2020, has not revealed how she’ll vote.
“I consider this quid pro quo fundraising to be the equivalent of an attempt to bribe me to vote against Judge Kavanaugh,” Collins told Newsmax. “This effort will not influence my vote at all.”
Confirming a nominee takes just 51 votes, the exact number of Republicans in the Senate. If Collins defects, then Vice President Mike Pence could cast the tie-breaking vote to seal the confirmation. But some liberal groups like Planned Parenthood are targeting not only Collins but also fellow moderate Republican, pro-abortion Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Other anti-Kavanaugh activists have ratcheted up pressure on Collins with phone calls to her office and by sending her around 3,000 coat hangers last week to symbolize “back-alley abortions,” out of their fear that Kavanaugh, if confirmed, could be instrumental in dismantling Roe v. Wade. Collins told The Wall Street Journal that some of the attacks have gotten out of hand, with one caller threatening to rape one of her female staffers.
Several of Collins’ GOP colleagues have come to her defense, including Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who called the activists’ actions against Collins “false, nasty, vulgar, personal, uncivil verbal abuse of an honorable and diligent public servant.” —Harvest Prude