Susan Collins opposes Trump's pick for Fifth Circuit

Susan Collins opposes Trump's pick for Fifth Circuit
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsRepublicans considering an outdoor stadium for Florida convention: report Sixth GOP senator unlikely to attend Republican convention Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE (R-Maine) on Monday voted against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' Marie Yovanovitch on Vindman retirement: He 'deserved better than this. Our country deserved better than this' Trump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' MORE's nominee to be an appeals judge nominee for the Fifth Circuit. 

"I oppose Judge Cory Wilson’s nomination to the Fifth Circuit. While Judge Wilson is entitled to his personal views, his comments about the legality of the Affordable Care Act, including calling the law 'perverse' and 'illegitimate,' raise doubts about his ability to rule impartially on matters where he holds very strong personal views," Collins said in a statement. 

Collins, a moderate GOP senator facing a tough reelection bid in November, was the only Republican senator to vote against advancing Wilson's nomination.

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If the Senate approves Wilson's nomination this week, it will be the 200th judicial nominee Trump has gotten confirmed since taking office. The seat on the Fifth Circuit is also the only remaining vacancy currently among the country's influential appeals courts. 

Collins's opposition to Wilson comes as she's voted against several of Trump's judicial nominees, including opposing Justin Walker's nomination to the D.C. Circuit. Walker, a favorite of Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.), was confirmed to the seat last week largely along party lines. 

No Democrat voted to advance Wilson's nomination on Monday night. But because nominations only need a simple majority to be confirmed, Wilson could join the federal bench with only support from Republicans, who have 53 seats in the Senate. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerA renewed emphasis on research and development funding is needed from the government Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs Trump may be DACA participants' best hope, but will Democrats play ball? MORE (D-N.Y) and Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinData shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs Bottom line Filibuster reform gains steam with Democrats MORE (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBiden strikes populist tone in blistering rebuke of Trump, Wall Street The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Teachers' union President Randi Weingarten calls Trump administration plan to reopen schools 'a train wreck'; US surpasses 3 million COVID-19 cases The Hill's Coronavirus Report: DC's Bowser says protesters and nation were 'assaulted' in front of Lafayette Square last month; Brazil's Bolsonaro, noted virus skeptic, tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-Minn.), a member of the panel, called on McConnell to pull the vote on Wilson's nomination. 

"Judge Wilson has been an ardent supporter of restrictive voting measures, including voter ID laws, that disproportionately harm minority voters, and he has shown a pattern of dismissing legitimate concerns from voting rights groups," they wrote. 

"Appointing someone to the Fifth Circuit who refers to the concerns of African American citizens and community advocates regarding the effects of voter ID laws as 'poppycock' is a slap in the face to Black Americans at a time when our country is working to take steps forward on racial justice, not backwards," they added. 

Democrats were referring to remarks that Wilson made in 2011 where he argued that concerns a voter ID law would suppress the vote were "poppycock, unless you count the dead vote," according to The Washington Post.