Collins Says Supreme Court Nominee Kavanaugh Called Roe v. Wade 'Settled Law' Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh met Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a swing vote in his confirmation, who said their more than two hour session covered abortion, executive power and other issues.
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Collins Says Supreme Court Nominee Kavanaugh Called Roe v. Wade 'Settled Law'

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Collins Says Supreme Court Nominee Kavanaugh Called Roe v. Wade 'Settled Law'

Collins Says Supreme Court Nominee Kavanaugh Called Roe v. Wade 'Settled Law'

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine is a key swing vote in the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. She says Kavanaugh told her today he views the landmark abortion-rights ruling Roe v. Wade as settled law. As NPR congressional correspondent Scott Detrow reports, Kavanaugh made the statement during the most important meeting he had during today's blitz of meetings on Capitol Hill.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: Kavanaugh met with six senators today. None of those meetings lasted as long as the more than two hours he spent with Collins.

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SUSAN COLLINS: We talked about whether he considered Roe to be settled law. He said that he agreed with what Justice Roberts said at his nomination hearing, in which he said that it was settled law.

DETROW: That's a big deal for the Maine senator, a moderate Republican who supports abortion rights and supported Roberts back in 2005. But what exactly does settled law mean? Minority leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats argue not too much, especially since President Trump promised to appoint someone who would overturn the landmark ruling that legalized abortion.

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CHUCK SCHUMER: Let's be clear. This is not as simple as Judge Kavanaugh saying that Roe is settled law. Everything the Supreme Court decides is settled law until it unsettles it. Saying a case is settled law is not the same thing as saying a case was correctly decided.

DETROW: But with nearly all Democrats likely to vote no, Cavanaugh's key audience isn't Schumer. It's moderates like Collins and Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski. They both support abortion rights. And with Republicans holding a slim majority, he needs their votes to be confirmed. Collins sounds like she's almost there.

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COLLINS: We covered a wide range of issues. And it was very helpful, very productive and very informative.

DETROW: Still, Collins says she won't commit on whether or not to vote for Kavanaugh until after next month's confirmation hearings. Scott Detrow, NPR News, the Capitol.

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