Bonus Episode: Anti-abortion ruing boomerangs on Sen. Susan Collins
Hey, everyone listening to the podcast. This is our Melbourne. Hope you're doing great. We have a special extra here for you this weekend. And it's something that may have gotten laws for some people in a week where a lot happened from Paul Manafort getting busted to this national emergency. But did you know that it's the prime court is now one vote away from affectively ruling to eliminate access to abortion in areas where an entire state could have just one doctor or less. It's super important that one vote right now is actually a Republican appointee. Chief Justice John Roberts, and in the piece that I am sharing now, which I hope you'll listen to we discuss why that relates not only to Donald Trump, but to so called Republican moderates zero in on Susan Collins her record and why she seems to be basically breaking her own pledges. Take a listen. I special report tonight. Let's begin with an important fact, there's no part of American government where Donald Trump is having a longer term impact than on the courts, which decide the limits on your right to speak bear arms or make personal decisions about your body is so many activists emphasized during the women's March. But unlike the things that Donald Trump can do all by himself like the travel ban or like, his response to Charlottesville. Trump cannot reshape the courts alone. He needs the senate's approval. And so in our politics right now to ignore that fact, or to move onto the next Trump scandal and lose track of how many senators are actually helping him would be a mistake with real consequences, especially at a time like this as premium core is shifting further right on choice and abortion right before our eyes. So consider the fact about one Trump's key allies for his prem- core. Picks Republican senators Susan Collins who has long claimed to be a pro choice moderate, which is also good politics for her in a state where a huge majority sixty four percent. Believe abortion should be legal from Collins, very first Senate run. She's declared herself pro choice a supporter of Roe v. Wade, and she's argued that is a contrast against her opponents. I am pro choice. Unlike Joe Brennan, I've always been pro choice to you agree with the women's right to choose as outlined by Roe versus Wade. Yes. Susan collins. Yes, I believe very much that wrote the way is settled law. I'm very proud of my strong pro-choice record. I've been endorsed by Planned Parenthood. That was that. But that record is. Now, the problem if there's one thing that pro choice and pro life advocates agree on it's that this all comes down to the supreme court, which has the final say on whether. I there's a right to abortion and second whether women have access to doctors who perform them take either of those away the right in Roe v. Wade or the doctors in any given state and will then that choices practically gone. That's why protests excuse me, pro choice. Protesters were gathering there you remember it Collins office last fall, urging her to live up to her own pledges about this issue and opposed bread. Cavanaugh who was widely expected to be a vote against abortion and abortion access at the time. Now in a sign that Collins didn't want to be seen as any kind of guess for him. And that she wanted to telegraph some kind of uncertainty about cavenaugh Senator Collins made a point of joining a handful of other senators who said they were undecided. Swing votes about confirming cabinet. They remained undecided during Kavanagh's tents and at times angry testimony on everything from these abortion precedents to the misconduct allegations. He face from Dr Christine blassie Ford. This is a circus. The consequences will extend long pass my nomination revenge on behalf of the Clintons your coordinated and well funded effort to destroy my good name and destroy. My family will not drag me out to ask him about blackout. I don't know. Have you? After all that. And those hearings Collins continued remember to delay your decision on Cavanaugh was longer than virtually every other Senator slowly building suspense for a big Senate floor speech where Collins again cast herself as a defender of abortion rights. She solemnly told the other senators about how cavenaugh new Roe v. Wade was a key precedent and how he knew the court later affirmed it in a related Planned Parenthood case, of course, the judge knew about those famous cases the question is whether he would narrow them like his backers expected. He noted repeatedly that Rowe had been upheld describing it as precedent. Would it be sufficient to overturn a long established precedent? Kiam paddock Lee said no I will vote to confirm judge cabin. Collins vote helped ensure that Trump could put cavenaugh on the supreme court while also claiming as you just saw she claimed his words assured her that these abortion precedents were safe and wouldn't change was she right? When we know why am I talking to you about this right now this important issue? Well, when we know it didn't take long, this is in the news right now because Justice Cavanaugh just voted to back a very restrictive state law to eliminate access to abortion for most people who live in Louisiana making abortion, unavailable everywhere there, but a single clinic, according to abortion rights experts and advocates in the state. This was considered a very significant case. The supreme court has weighed in on its most significant abortion case since conservative Brett cavenaugh joined the court. This is one of the concerns about him for liberals with Kevin on the court, but assenting opinion came from Justice Brett Cavanaugh Cavanaugh taking a position in the minority against the current precedent protecting choice, and this is something he's doing as soon as he joined the core note. That's what his conservative backers expected and note, that's what his liberal critics expected. So it appears one of the only policy experts in the country who would claim to be surprised by this ruling to the choice would be Susan Collins of cavenaugh had his way that controversial ruling that I just described drastically restricting choice that would be lauded and if that approach worked in that state, it'd be open season in many other conservative states. The only reason this is so important. The only reason this is not law is that other justices including a different. Republican appointee John Roberts voted the other way, Robert siding with several democratic appointed justices to block this law under you, see where we're going under the row precedent that Collins has discussed so much. Now, let's look at the justices who voted with cavenaugh this is so important four of them there. So they're now one vote shy of Geordie to do this kind of thing to restrict drastically choice and abortion doctors in the United States. Thomas Alito Gorsuch with Cavanaugh on restrictions note. That Senator Collins says some experience with a pattern here, we're gonna show it to you. Because she backed Trump and voted to confirm Gorsuch as well as Kevin just like she voted to confirm Alito as Thomas the fourth vote. Will she wasn't even in office yet? Now there are potential arguments for that kind of owning record for pro-life candidates. Their answer is. Yeah. These are the pro-life judges they want and for some traditionalist to be fair the answer is. Yeah. But the Senate vets judges and shouldn't try to pre engineer their future votes on the court. That's a different defense Senator Collins claims neither of those defenses. She's still claims even now that she's doing her part to keep the court pro choice against all this evidence. I respond to Kavanagh's new opinion. She cites this as a quote, very careful descent as proof the idea he would still repeal Roe is quote absurd. Is it? We asked her calling office weather point blank, she views Kavanagh's ruling as a limitation on abortion access, which it is and a narrowing rose protection or not she did not reply to those questions today. But if last fall anyone was unclear how then judge Cavanaugh would approach abortion laws on the supreme court. The answer is now clear facts matter now, I'll report tonight does not in any way pretend to address all the strongly-held personal moral and religious beliefs on abortion in the Senate or across our nation. But it does reveal that in this important debate full of people in power and out of power standing up for their views taking risks for their views fighting for years for their views. Senator Susan Collins record reveals herself to be on an unusual island where her stated views are openly eight blatantly repeatedly contradicted by her record. Candidate for this important position who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me. I've always been pro choice, and I always will be. Hey, I'm Ari Melber from MSNBC, you could see more videos right here. Better yet. Subscribe to our YouTube channel below you could have been anywhere in the world that you're here with us. And we appreciate that. We appreciate. Hi, it's Lawrence O'Donnell. If you love MSNBC where your heart on your sleeve, you can gear up with t shirts. Hoodies hats and more from the last word and all of your favourite MSNBC shows you can shop now at MSNBC store dot com.