Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks On The Money — Biden sticks with Powell despite pressure Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (R-Maine) said Tuesday that she will oppose a controversial circuit court pick by President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE ahead of a vote this week.
Collins, the first Republican senator to announce their opposition to Chad Readler’s nomination for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said she was opposing the pick over his role in a case involving pre-existing conditions.
“Rather than defend the law and its protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions – such as asthma, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease – Mr. Readler’s brief in Texas v. United States argued that they should be invalidated,” Collins said.
“Given Mr. Readler’s role in the government’s failure to defend provisions under current law that protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, I will oppose his confirmation to the bench,” Collins added.
Readler, who previously worked as an assistant attorney general for the Civil Division at the Department of Justice, filed a brief last year supporting a lawsuit filed by Texas and other states seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act.
Collins added on Tuesday that she “strongly objected” to the Justice Department’s decision.
“In my view, the Justice Department’s severability argument is wrong and implausible. ... I have continuously stressed the importance of protecting Americans who suffer from pre-existing conditions,” Collins said.
The Senate will hold a procedural vote on Readler’s nomination on Tuesday afternoon, where he’ll need only a simple majority to advance.
Democrats and their outside group allies have homed in on Readler’s nomination.
Demand Justice, an outside progressive group, is running digital ads targeting Collins and GOP Sens. Cory GardnerCory GardnerGun control group alleges campaign finance violations in lawsuit against NRA Colorado Supreme Court signs off on new congressional map Colorado remap plan creates new competitive district MORE (R-Colo.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisOvernight Defense & National Security — A new plan to treat Marines 'like human beings' Republicans press Milley over perceived progressive military agenda Gun control group alleges campaign finance violations in lawsuit against NRA MORE (R-N.C.) and Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstBiden picks former Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield to Iowa's USDA post Biden has just 33 percent approval rating in Iowa poll Overnight Defense & National Security — A new plan to treat Marines 'like human beings' MORE (R-Iowa) over the nomination. All four Republicans are up for reelection in 2020.
If Democrats are going to stop Readler’s nomination they’ll need to flip a total of four Republican senators and keep their caucus united.