Susan Collins of Maine was the only Republican who voted against Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court. Has she explained why she did so?


Susan Collins is the least conservative member of the Republican party in the U.S. Senate (there are a couple of other Senators that bob and weave for that spot from year to year, but she frequently holds it), which is one of the main reasons that she's one of the only Republican federal elected officials in New England.

She's also running for re-election in a week in a very tight contest in which her opponent is arguing, successfully for the most part, that Collins has ceased to be moderate enough. The FiveThirtyEight election forecast as of today gives her a 40% chance of winning and gives her Democratic party opponent a 60% chance of winning. This is a horrible showing for a long time incumbent U.S. Senator known as a moderate (she was first elected to the U.S. Senate from Maine in 1996), running for a fifth term of office, from a state that is fairly conservative as New England goes, and fairly moderate from a national perspective.

Collins' vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh (despite acknowledging that allegations of misconduct by him were seriously enough that she joined a request for an FBI investigation of Kavanaugh) is Exhibit A in the attack on Susan Collins' moderate credentials by her opponent in campaign ads this year. A "no" vote on the Barrett nomination is a final last gasp effort to regain the public's perception of her as a moderate in the hope that this will help her to get re-elected.

  • 4
    But the question was "Has she explained why she did so?"
    – AES
    Oct 30 '20 at 0:55
  • 15
    @AES. the OP has been edited. Around the time this answer was listed, it was “Why did Susan Collins vote...” It was changed to “Did she explain why she voted...”
    – Damila
    Oct 30 '20 at 1:17
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    She's not a moderate. Every single time it counted she talked a great deal about 'concern' and 'disappointment' but then voted along the party line.
    – Shadur
    Oct 30 '20 at 17:55
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    @Shadur Her lifetime voting record is one of the least conservative of Republican lawmakers in either house of Congress.
    – ohwilleke
    Oct 30 '20 at 18:50
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    @tim - I guess you'd have to believe that only Supreme Court nominations and impeachment trials count, and that all those other bills do not affect your life (or other peoples') at all. Like, ummmmm, that little law that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act three years ago. Or the bill that would have eliminated standards on coal contamination. Or the bill that would have withdrawn all troops from Iraq by 2008.
    – Obie 2.0
    Oct 30 '20 at 21:26

According to the Portland Press Herald, Senator Collins wanted to uphold the precedent set four years ago in which a nominee should not be voted upon so close to a Presidential election, and that the winner of the said election should be the one to fill the vacancy.

“Prior to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, I stated that, should a vacancy on the Supreme Court arise, the Senate should follow the precedent set four years ago and not vote on a nominee prior to the presidential election,” she said. “Since her passing, I have reiterated that in fairness to the American people – who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one – the decision on the nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy should be made by whoever is elected on November 3rd.”


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