“I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law….Roe v. Wade is a constitutional right that is well established.”

Thus spake Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), according to a CNN report.

But which Roe v. Wade decision does Sen. Collins stand by? There’s the imaginary Roe, which dictates that unregulated abortion be available throughout pregnancy. Then there’s the actual Roe, which permits states to leave abortion unregulated but also permits many laws protecting the lives and safety of mother and preborn child.

Where does Sen. Collins stand on First Amendment protections for peaceful pro-life witnesses outside abortion facilities? After all, McCullen v. Coakley is “established decision, established law.” Or does she consider peaceful pro-life witness to be an attack on abortion rights?

How about restrictions on public funding of abortion and abortion counseling? The Supreme Court OK’d such restrictions decades ago. Abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU Reproductive Rights Project use terms like “gag rule” to describe efforts to keep abortion providers out of taxpayers’ wallets. In the Senator’s view, do restrictions on public funding amount to “hostility” to Roe v. Wade?

Parental notification for minors’ abortions, reflection periods before abortion, informed consent laws, restrictions on mid- and late-term abortion, protections for children who survive attempted abortion: certain forms of these laws have been found consistent with Roe. Then again, PP and ACLU consider such measures attacks on abortion rights.

The pro-Roe Senator Collins could vote with a clear conscience for a jurist who supports the abortion regulations that have been approved by the Supreme Court since Roe. Such a nominee would not be hostile to the actual Roe decision, even if that nominee displeased PP and the ACLU.

Maybe one day there will be less deference to a precedent that’s inconsistent with human dignity. For now, though, we’re left with wondering what Senator Collins means by “hostility.”

Ellen writes about the life issues at Leaven for the Loaf. 

Now’s the time to celebrate the First Amendment and support independent journalism by hitting DaTipJar. Thank you!

I’ve always known how to count

Tip O’Neil

For the last week we have heard the breathless declarations the Donald Trump will not be able to get a judge who opposes Roe v Wade because Lisa Murkowski of Alaska or Susan Collins of Maine will vote against any such nominee.

Millions of pixels have been dedicated to this proposition as the media breathlessly declare that any such judge will have a hard if not impossible path to the Supreme Court.

While I hate to disappoint all of you folks on the left but Doug Matacoins not withstanding  it is Collins and Murkowski who are in the box, not Trump.

Even when the President didn’t have a supreme court nominee coming up or democrats calling for the public harassment of conservatives or Democrat Socialists publicly proclaiming communism, which murdered 100+ million in the 20th century, as a good thing the numbers looked bad for the Democrats in the senate due to the sheer number of Democrats running for re-election, particularly from Red States.

In a bad scenario it was likely the GOP would pick up at only one seat, with a strong economy, low unemployment and success against ISIS and Democrats making fools of themselves a pick up of 3 seats is a real possibility.

The media and twitter may not be talking about this but you had better believe that Collins and Murkowski both know how to count real and understand the moment the GOP has a majority that doesn’t depend on their vote to get a justice confirmed they will have as much say in who Trump nominates as Chuck Schumer, namely none.

So I suspect that they will make loud noises and say all the right things to the media who will be putting immense pressure on them but in the end when the votes are counted Trump will get both his nominee and unless they can manage a Fishbait Miller scenario will likely have their vote as well.

If Trump chooses Judge Amy Coney Barrett, (which is who I think he will) Watch them claim as a driving force for their vote for her the chance to create, for the first time in the court’s history actual parity between the number of men and women on it.

You heard it here first

Q: How do we know that this Boston Globe article showing Scott Brown is the most popular pol in Massachusetts is true?

The ads keep coming more than two years before he stands for election because something has to be done to change the tone in the state or dramatic change might come.

Meanwhile Brown has come out against the financial bill:

“I said right from the beginning, I’ll let my statements speak for themselves,” said Senator Brown. “I was disappointed and surprised that at the last minute, they put in assessment fees, taxes…really without letting us know, and I’ve always made it clear that I can’t support adding another $19 billion passed through taxes to individual consumers, especially in the middle of a two year recession.”

Gateway also notes that he has come out against Cap and Trade too. this will of course lead to more ads portraying him has pro Wall Street, Pro Big Oil against small kittens etc etc etc… but SISU notes that this is what the people want.

Scott Brown “has listened to his constituents,” an aide in our junior Senator’s office just told us, and will definitely vote “no” on the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform bill should it come to the floor.

This was the same thing mentioned at yesterday’s Twin City Tea Party Meeting, a member who called urging opposition to the bill was told that there was an overwhelming response from voters against both bills.

As this memeorandum thread shows where Brown leads others are following:

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) joined Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) this evening, putting herself back into the undecided column on Wall Street reform legislation, after House and Senate negotiators added new fees on banks to the final bill late last week.

“It was not part of either the House or Senate bill and was added in the wee hours of the morning. So I’m taking a look at the specifics of that and other provisions as well,” Collins told reporters this evening outside the Senate chamber.

The times they are a changin!