In an interview published on Saturday, Maine Senator Susan Collins said that she has no regrets about voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Newsweek reports.
Perceived to be a moderate Republican, Collins voted to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite accusations of sexual assault brought up against the judge by multiple women, including Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before Congress about the alleged sexual assault.
As Newsweek notes, Collins’ “yes” jeopardized her seat, and therefore put the Republican Party’s control of the Senate in danger. Despite this, the senator has no regrets.
“I do not regret my vote in the least,” she said.
Nevertheless, Collins’ vote has irked some Maine residents, and she is now facing a formidable challenger. Sara Gideon, the Democratic Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, is challenging Collins in 2020, and using the Kavanaugh saga to galvanize her base of supporters.
In a recent campaign announcement, Gideon blasted Collins for voting for the conservative judge, and alleged that her opponent has been compromised by moneyed interests representing powerful industries.
“At one point, maybe Sen. Collins was different, but she doesn’t seem that way anymore: taking over a million dollars from drug companies and the insurance industry and voting to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court,” the Democrat said.
Collins’ defended herself against Democratic attacks, arguing on Saturday that she is one of the few remaining centrist voices in Congress.
“I’m an important voice for the nation in an increasingly polarized environment. There are so few members left in the center,” she said.
As The Washington Examiner notes, it was not only accusations of sexual assault brought up against Kavanaugh that energized Democratic voters during his confirmation hearing — his stances on abortion were frequently cited as reason he should not be appointed to the Supreme Court.
She once seemed untouchable in Maine. But now, Senator Susan Collins is facing a more challenging political landscape in the era of #MeToo and Trumpism as she considers whether to run for re-election next year. https://t.co/Ull7YBoSLK
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 7, 2019
An opponent of abortion, Kavanaugh voted to uphold a restrictive Louisiana abortion law, but he also voted against taking up a case that would jeopardize the landmark Roe v. Wade.
As the publication notes, Collins is still polling above her Democratic opponent, but the Democrats have raised millions to oppose her re-election, which makes the Maine race one of the most closely watched races in the country.
Kavanaugh’s name returned to the headlines recently, when the leader of the liberal wing of the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, praised the justice accused of sexual assault for hiring an all-female team.
“There is a very important first on the Supreme Court this term, and it’s thanks to our new justice, Justice Kavanaugh, whose entire staff is all women,” she said, according to Salon.