Progressive group targets Susan Collins over Trump judicial pick

Progressive group targets Susan Collins over Trump judicial pick
© Greg Nash
The progressive group Demand Justice Initiative is targeting GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: Insurance lobby chief calls Biden, Sanders health plans 'similarly bad' | Trump officials appeal drug price disclosure ruling | Study finds 1 in 7 people ration diabetes medicine due to cost Collins downplays 2020 threat: 'Confident' reelection would go well if she runs Cook Political Report moves Susan Collins Senate race to 'toss up' MORE (Maine), who is up for reelection in 2020, with a new round of advertising ahead of a Senate vote this week on a controversial judicial nominee from President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE.
The group said it is launching a five-figure digital ad that will run on "prominent Maine websites," questioning why Collins would support Wendy Vitter's nomination to be a judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
"Trump nominee Wendy Vitter wants to shut down Planned Parenthood. So why would Senator Susan Collins vote for her?" the ad says.
The ad is part of a larger effort by Demand Justice to educate voters on senators' positions when it comes to Trump's judicial picks, most of whom are considered anathema to the party's progressive base.
The Senate is expected to vote on Vitter's nomination on Thursday.
Vitter, who serves as general counsel to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans and is the wife of former Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterGrocery group hires new top lobbyist Lobbying World Senate confirms Trump judge who faced scrutiny over abortion views MORE (R-La.), has come under fire for sidestepping a direct answer to a question during her confirmation hearing about whether she believes the Brown v. Board of Education case from the 1950s was correctly decided by the Supreme Court. She also was grilled on her views on abortion.
A spokeswoman for Collins didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about whether the GOP senator has decided how to vote on Vitter's nomination.
Brian Fallon, the executive director for Demand Justice, noted that the vote on Vitter's nomination will come just days after the Alabama Senate passed legislation that bans nearly all abortions in the state. The measure has since been sent to Gov. Kay Ivey's (R) desk and is expected to be signed into law.
“The recent laws passed in Georgia and Alabama prove there is an all-out assault on abortion rights underway in this country, and Senator Collins needs to choose a side,” Fallon said.

He added that "when Senator Collins supports so many of Trump’s anti-abortion judges, it is reasonable for Mainers to conclude she’s not living up to her promises about protecting reproductive rights.”
Collins, who is one of two GOP senators running in a state that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts new immigration policy, backtracks on tax cuts Hickenlooper announces Senate bid MORE won in 2016, is viewed as a top target for Democrats next year. She has already drawn fierce criticism over her vote in support of Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMcConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster Collins downplays 2020 threat: 'Confident' reelection would go well if she runs The exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions MORE last year amid concerns that his confirmation would lock in a conservative majority on the court.