Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is an interesting politician. She will be running again in 2020 in a tougher race than she has experienced in quite some time. The senator’s stance tends to be as a moderate Republican, but the actuality is often much different.
Wednesday, Collins said that she was going to vote against one of Donald Trump’s most controversial court nominees, Steven Menashi. She said, according to The Huffington Post:
‘I intend to oppose his nomination.’
Menashi had been nominated as Trump’s choice for a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 2nd Circuit. The White House legal aide would be serving for a long term in all likelihood, because he was just 40 years old.
Collins recently spoke to an activist with the progressive groups Center for Popular Democracy Action and Demand Justice. She talked to the activist when they met in a Senate building hallway.
Clearly, her vote would not keep Menashi from his court position, so it would be a relatively safe vote for her to make and one that might win her more votes back home in Maine.
On the other hand, Collins has frequently hinted, indicated outright, or somehow given the voters she served the impression that she planned on voting as one of the few remaining moderate Republicans in the Senate. However at the last moment, Collins tends to vote with the GOP. Take her vote for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for example.
Meenashi has had a lengthy record of jeopardizing equality for a number of groups: women, LGBTQ, and communities of color. His written record has shown him comparing race data collection for university admissions to the German dictator Adolf Hitler.
In addition, he has besmirched women’s marches as “sexual assault” and revolted against Roe v. Wade as “radical abortion rights.” He has also furthered an “Islamophobic myth” claiming that General John Pershing executed Muslims in the Philippines with bullets dunked in pigs’ fat or blood, depending upon the teller.
Last month, protesters opposed Menashi’s Senate confirmation hearing. They shouted “Title IX is on the line.” When Menashi was legal counsel to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, she ended up halting Title IX protections for universities’ sexual assault survivors from on-campus attacks.
Menashi was not popular with his own state’s senators in New York. He also irritated both parties in his confirmation hearing when he refused to explain what tasks he was doing in the White House. He also avoided the senators’ questions about whether he was involved in the Trump Ukraine debacle. Menashi could have easily been involved, given that he has been a legal adviser for over a year.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on his nomination next month. If they pass him, the vote will go to the Senate floor.
Another senator, John Kennedy (R-LA) indicated that he might also vote against Menashi when the Judiciary Committee takes it Wednesday vote. His vote there would carry more weight.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.