(The Hill) — Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Tuesday that a leaked draft ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court was “completely inconsistent” with what Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch told her during their private conversations as Supreme Court nominees.
“If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office,” Collins said in a statement.
“Obviously, we won’t know each justice’s decision and reasoning until the Supreme Court officially announces its opinion in this case,” she added.
Collins’ statement comes after Politico published a draft decision from the Supreme Court, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, to strike down Roe v. Wade, a landmark case that guarantees the right to an abortion.
The draft ruling concludes by declaring that Roe and the court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey have no grounding in the Constitution. The court is expected to issue an actual ruling in the case in the next two months.
Politico, citing a source, said that fellow conservative Justice Clarence Thomas as well as former President Trump’s three nominees — Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Justice Amy Coney Barrett — had voted with Alito in conference.
That immediately put a spotlight on Collins, a key moderate vote who supported both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
When asked Tuesday if she felt misled, Collins demurred, telling reporters that “my statement speaks for itself.”
Collins, who was up for re-election at the time, defended her vote for Kavanaugh, saying in 2018 that she didn’t believe he would vote to overturn Roe.
“He noted that Roe had been reaffirmed 19 years later by Planned Parenthood vs. Casey. And that it was precedent on precedent,” Collins told CNN’s Dana Bash. “He said it should be extremely rare that it should be overturned,” she added.