Susan Collins Tries to Have it Both Ways on Supreme Court

The Big Story: Mainers have grown accustomed to Susan Collins’s “on the one hand, on the other hand” strategy when it comes to the big issues confronting the nation. She voted for additional witnesses at the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, but despite the fact that no witnesses were called, voted to acquit, stating, with breathtaking naivate, that Trump would be chastened by the impeachment alone. Now, though she said the choice of a new Supreme Court justice should fall to the winner of  the November election, she also said she favors moving forward with the vetting process for Trump’s nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. Collins has stated that she will vote “no” should the nomination of Judge Barrett come to a vote on the Senate floor before the election and implies she will vote no in the interregnum if Biden is elected president but hasn’t formally stated that. Some Mainers see her carefully crafted statements as too concerned about her own political future.  Many Mainers think she should be advocating more forcefully to delay the nomination until after the president takes office in January.   (Politico, September 25, 2020.) (USA Today, September 25, 2020.) (News Center Maine, September 24, 2020.)(The Portland Press Herald, September 26, 2020.)

In Other News:

Though she has one the best environmental records of any GOP member of the Senate, Susan Collins’s fealty to President Trump has cost her the support of leading environmental groups that once backed her. “ one of the few party leaders who has consistently accepted the science on humanity’s role in climate change,” according to Inside Climate News. “But the green groups, like a slew of progressive and women’s organizations that have abandoned Collins—labor unions, Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign, Emily’s List— say her support for Trump and his agenda have made it impossible for them to support her.” Among the environmental groups that have dropped their support of Collins in favor of challenger Sara Gideon are The Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters. (Inside Climate News, September 21, 2020.)

Collins’s opponent, Sara Gideon, in a thoughtful interview with Vox News, explains why Susan Collins is more vulnerable than ever before and outlines her top three priorities once Democrats take the U.S. Senate: democratic reform, expanding health care, and fighting climate change. (Vox News, September 22, 2020,)

Is Maine still purging voter registration lists? Maine was flagged by The Brennan Center for Justice in a recent report for the way it was using a national voter registration crosscheck system to remove voters from its rolls, but state officials say that process is no longer in place. Here’s a link to a guide to what Mainers can do to insure they can vote on November 3rd. (The Portland Press-Herald, September 24, 2020.)