WASHINGTON – Pro-choice Republican Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) told reporters Tuesday that Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh said he believes Roe v. Wade is “settled law.”
This news came after Collins and Kavanaugh sat down for a more than two-hour, closed-door meeting – one of the longest he’s had on the Hill thus far.
“We talked about whether he considered Roe to be settled law,” Collins told reporters after. “He said that he agreed with what Justice (John) Roberts said at his nomination hearing in which he said that it was settled law.”
During Justice Roberts’ 2005 confirmation hearing, he said he believed Roe is “settled as a precedent of the Court.”
Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Samuel Alito used similar language when pressed on the issue during their hearings in 2006 and 2017.
“Senator, my personal views, if I were to begin speaking about my personal views on this subject, which every American has views on, would send a misleading signal to the American people,” said Gorsuch in response to a question from former Senator Al Franken (D-MI). “It is absolutely settled law. Senator, Casey is settled law in the sense that it is a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.”
“Roe v. Wade is an important precedent of the Supreme Court,” said Judge Alito during his 2006 confirmation.
Judges cannot espouse their personal views or say how they would vote on certain cases during their confirmation hearings, but many senators still question them on hot topics anyway.
Sen. Collins is one of two Republican senators that’s a member of the Republicans for Choice PAC. She is one of the final Republican senators to meet with Judge Kavanaugh on the Hill and is frequently seen as a swing vote in the Senate where the GOP holds a thin majority.
She did not say whether or not she will support Kavanaugh in his confirmation next month but described their meeting as “excellent.”