Collins, Murkowski face pressure from liberal groups over Kavanaugh vote

August 24, 2018

A liberal activist in Maine is vowing to spend $100,000 to defeat Sen. Susan Collins if she votes to confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court pick.

Another progressive group, meanwhile, has brought Alaska residents to Washington to meet with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, urging her to be the vote that sinks Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The two Republican senators are considered the key to Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Each met separately with the judge this week, though both hesitated to throw their support behind him, saying they’re awaiting his confirmation hearing early next month.

Verner Wilson, an Alaskan voter who met with Ms. Murkowski, said if she votes for Judge Kavanaugh, she is voting against Alaska’s native communities.

“Too many of us are being forced to change our way of life as climate change threatens our salmon, our villages, and our ability to put food on the table,” Mr. Wilson said, adding that the Supreme Court plays an oversight role in environmental law and policy.

The Alaskans said the meeting Wednesday went well. Mr. Murkowski met with Judge Kavanaugh the next day, calling it an “important step” in her vetting.

“What I am seeking is a Supreme Court Justice with the character, the intelligence, and the balance to impartially apply the law to the facts of the case,” she said.

Ms. Collins seemed a bit more warm following her meeting Tuesday with the nominee, saying it was “excellent.”

She said the judge assured her a woman’s constitutional right to abortion is “settled law.”

But liberal activist Ady Barkan, who is suffering from ALS, raised $100,000 through his political action committee, Be a Hero, vowing to donate the money to Ms. Collins’ opponent when she’s up for re-election in 2020 if she votes to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.

Mr. Barkan has focused his advocacy on access to affordable health care.

“Last year, Collins was a hero for all Americans when she voted against the health care bill that would have repealed Obamacare,” he said. “Now, we’re asking her to be a hero again. The future of Americans’ health care for generations is once again coming down to the vote of Susan Collins.”