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Susan Collins opposes Trump's pick for Fifth Circuit

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

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsHouse passes sweeping protections for LGBTQ people Grassley to vote against Tanden nomination Klain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' MORE (R-Maine) on Monday voted against President TrumpDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee 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 SchumerHillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill Budowsky: Cruz goes to Cancun, AOC goes to Texas MORE (D-N.Y) and Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinProgressive support builds for expanding lower courts Menendez reintroduces corporate diversity bill What exactly are uber-woke educators teaching our kids? MORE (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharOpen-ended antitrust is an innovation killer FBI, DHS and Pentagon officials to testify on Capitol riot Five big takeaways on the Capitol security hearings 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.