Republican Sen. Susan Collins, one of the last votes to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the nation’s highest court last fall, said she believes Roe v Wade is safe, despite Kavanaugh’s recent dissent in an abortion case.
“He said under oath many times, as well as to me personally many times, that he considers Roe to be ‘precedent upon precedent,'” Collins, a moderate Republican in support of abortion rights, told CNN.
“To say that this case, this most recent case, in which he wrote a very careful dissent, tells you that he’s going to repeal Roe v Wade I think is absurd,” she added.
The Supreme Court narrowly voted last week to temporarily suspend the implementation of a Louisiana abortion law. The law, similar to a Texas regulation the Court struck down in 2016, would require any doctor performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal judges to stay the law in a 5-4 vote. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh opposed.
In his dissent, Kavanaugh argued that the case largely relies on whether or not the four doctors in Louisiana who perform abortions can obtain admitting privileges.
“If we denied the stay, that question could be readily and quickly answered without disturbing the status quo or causing harm to the parties or the affected women, and without this Court’s further involvement at this time,” wrote Kavanaugh in his dissent. “That is because the State’s regulation provides that there will be a 45-day regulatory transition period before the new law is applied.”
If, after this period, the doctors are unable to obtain admitting privileges, “then even [Louisiana] acknowledges that the law as applied might be deemed to impose an undue burden,” wrote Kavanaugh. If they are able, then there is no “undue burden” imposed.
Collins told CNN if people believe this means he’s against Roe v Wade, she thinks “there is a deliberate misreading of what he actually wrote or people have just assumed and not read the decision.”