Deranged attacks on Senator Collins, baffling Spartacus proclamations and last minute sexual misconduct accusations - Even liberal icon Justice Ruth Ginsburg has come out against this distasteful circus. Is this the “new normal” from the left?
This is the time of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Two movies on her life – “RBG” and “On the Basis of Sex” – have been released and the 85-year-old survivor of colon cancer and pancreatic cancer with a stent in her heart continues on the High Court with no retirement in sight. The liberal justice was appointed by President Clinton in 1993 and confirmed by a 96-3 vote.
Justice Ginsburg has weighed in on the important issues of our time.
In the 2016 election Justice Ginsburg said: “I can’t imagine what the country would be with Donald Trump as our president.” The next day she added that Mr. Trump was “a faker.”
Justice Ginsburg has supported abortion rights, the Affordable Care Act and opposed President Trump’s temporary travel ban on immigration from several Muslim-majority countries.
The Justice has been called a “popular culture icon.”
Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine has some views that are like those of Justice Ginsburg.
Her Senate vote last year saved Obamacare and her statement at the time included this: “Also included in all of these plans is a misguided proposal that would block federal funds, including Medicaid reimbursements, from going to Planned Parenthood. Millions of women across the country rely on Planned Parenthood for family planning, cancer screening, and basic preventive health care services.” Ms. Collins 65 is pro-choice.
In the stretch run of the 2016 election Ms. Collins came out against Donald Trump.
Ms. Collins lined up with a handful of Republicans to oppose Trump’s temporary travel ban on immigration from several Muslim-majority countries. She opposed Senator Mitch McConnell’s invocation of the “nuclear option” which changed Senate rules to a simple majority for confirmation votes for Supreme Court justices which has allowed Trump to gain the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch and perhaps Brett Kavanaugh.
Ms. Collins has been rated by the “New York Times” as the most liberal Republican Senator.
But all these qualities have not saved her from a concentrated Democratic effort to oust her from office in favor of an unnamed opponent which says a lot about what we call confirmation politics.
Judge Kavanaugh has served for the past 12 years on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. After President Trump nominated Judge Kavanaugh, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary gave him it highest rating of “well-qualified.”
Senate confirmation hearings were this week and Senator Collins has not yet said how she would vote and she is getting pressure from the anti-Kavanaugh forces.
A group has set up a crowdfunding site to raise money to defeat Ms. Collins, should she run for re-election in 2020 if she votes Judge Kavanaugh. But this is fundraising with a twist.
Under terms of this appeal for money, people pledge money with a credit card. If Senator Collins votes “yes” on Kavanaugh’s nomination, the cards will be charged and all donations will go to Collins’ opponent in 2020 – whoever that may be.
But, if Ms. Collins votes “no” on Kavanaugh’s confirmation the cards won’t be charged and no donations will be given to her opponent.
By the way, federal law defines the crime of bribery as “corruptly” offering “anything of value” to a public official with the intent to “influence any official act.” The fundraising in this case is explicitly offering something of value to Senator Collins — holding back money from her opponent—in return for a Supreme Court confirmation vote.
Legal or not, are this the type of political tactics the Left wants to embrace?
Besides the threat of money, Senator Collins reported actual threats of violence in an interview today. Speaking to radio station WVOM, Collins stated that “My office has received some pretty ugly voicemails, threats, terrible things said to my staff,”
The threats and fundraising against the pro-choice Collins is a small piece of what has become a polarizing confirmation process to say the least. To use an overworked term, is it the “new normal?”
Justice Ginsburg hopes not.
This week the Justice compared Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings with her own a quarter of a century ago. Justice Ginsburg called the partisan grandstanding of Democrats this time “wrong” and wished for a return to a spirit of collegiality. She noted specifically the overwhelming support for her confirmation in the Senate from both parties, “even though I had spent about ten years of my life litigating cases under the auspices of the ACLU and I was on the ACLU board…”
She added: “The way it was was right. The way it is is wrong.”
We think RBG has a point.