Anti-Choice Judges

Susan Collins has played a key role in enabling the Trump administration’s crusade against women’s reproductive rights.

Collins frequently touts her pro-choice beliefs, but in reality, she’s voted to confirm at least 32 anti-choice judges to lifelong federal judicial appointments.

Here are some of the worst judicial nominees confirmed by Susan Collins.

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Kenneth Bell

In May 2019, Collins voted to confirm Kenneth Bell to be a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of North Carolina. According to NARAL, Bell authored an op-ed that said, “Either the unborn is a mass of cells worth of no more consideration than a hangnail, or it is a child, which may not be killed. There is no middle ground.

Carl Nichols

In May 2019, Collins voted to confirm Carl Nichols to be a U.S. District Judge for the District Of Columbia. According to NARAL, Nichols represented a pharmacy in its challenge to an Illinois rule that stopped pharmacies from refusing to fill women’s prescriptions for birth control, arguing that pharmacists who personally oppose emergency contraception should be able to refuse women their prescriptions.

Stephen Clark

In May 2019, Collins voted to confirm Stephen Clark to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of Missouri. According to NARAL, Clark submitted a legal brief on behalf of anti-choice organizations opposing the ACA’s contraceptive coverage policy. In the brief, Clark echoes a false conspiracy theory that claims birth control causes cancer and other health risks. He inaccurately claims that the contraceptive coverage policy “works directly against women’s health,” and “coerc[es] religiously objecting employers to cover drugs that significantly increase risks to women’s health.”

Michael J. Truncale

In May 2019, Collins voted to confirm Michael J. Truncale to be a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas. During his 2012 campaign for Congress, Truncale billed himself as “strong pro-life and pro-family values,” and bragged “I was the only congressional candidate to participate in a recent March for Life, ecumenical March for Life.”

Andrew Lynn Brasher

In May 2019, Collins voted to confirm Andrew Lynn Brasher to be a U.S. District Judge for the middle district of Alabama. According to NARAL, Brasher defended an Alabama law that effectively puts young women seeking abortion care on trial by allowing a judge to appoint an attorney for the fetus and the district attorney to call witnesses to testify regarding the young woman’s maturity. 

Brasher has also argued against the ACA’s contraceptive coverage policy; defended an Alabama law that prohibited the state from licensing an abortion clinic within 2,000 feet of a school; and defending an unconstitutional Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) law subjecting abortion providers to burdensome restrictions.

J. Campbell Barker

In May 2019, Collins voted to confirm J. Campbell Barker to be the U.S. District Judge for the Easter District of Texas. Barker defended Texas’ TRAP laws in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt before the Supreme Court. He also signed a brief in opposition to the ACA’s contraceptive coverage policy.

Patrick Wyrick

In April 2019, Collins voted to confirm Patrick Wyrick to be a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma. According to NARAL, Wyrick defended Oklahoma laws that forced doctors to use outdated, less safe, and less effective abortion care and required women seeking abortions to undergo ultrasounds.

Mark Norris

In October 2018, Collins voted to confirm Mark Norris to be a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee. As a member of Tennessee’s state legislature, Norris voted for restrictions on abortion providers and personhood bills. He supported a resolution urging Congress to overturn the ACA’s contraceptive coverage policy that called the policy a “direct assault on people of faith and the very Constitution itself.”

William Ray

In October 2018, Collins voted to confirm William Ray to be a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia. As a Georgia state senator, Ray voted for legislation that criminalizes certain abortion services and carries up to a five-year prison sentence for abortion providers.

Neomi Rao

In March 2019, Collins voted to confirm Neomi Rao to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the D.C. Circuit. As Trump’s Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Rao oversaw numerous anti-choice regulations, including rules limiting the availability of contraceptive services if an employer objects, the proposed Title X domestic gag rule, and a rule that gives health care workers the right to discriminate against patients seeking reproductive care.

Daniel Collins

In May 2019, Susan Collins voted to confirm Daniel Collins to be a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. According to NARAL, Daniel Collins authored an amicus brief on behalf of the anti-choice Ethics and Public Policy Center in Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius, arguing against the ACA’s contraceptive-coverage policy. Daniel Collins also filed a judicial brief in defense of a crisis pregnancy center’s challenge to a local ordinance requiring them to disclose that they do not provide contraception or abortion services, arguing the ordinance “would burden the Center’s pro-life advocacy.”

Kenneth Kiyul Lee

In May 2019, Collins voted to confirm Kenneth Kiyul Lee to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit. According to NARAL, Lee wrote an article criticizing feminists who oppose Playboy but support abortion.

Michael H. Park

In May 2019, Collins voted to confirm Michael H. Park to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit. Park represented Kansas in a lawsuit attempting to defund Planned Parenthood, and defended the Trump administration’s efforts to block undocumented women from accessing abortion services.

Eric Murphy

In March 2019, Collins voted to confirm Eric Murphy to be a judge on the Sixth Circuit. Murphy defended Ohio’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and TRAP laws.

Eric Miller

In February 2019, Collins voted to confirm Eric Miller to be a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. A former clerk for anti-choice Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Miller filed a brief in support of an Ohio law that banned a safe abortion procedure, and argued against military insurance covering abortion.

Jonathan A. Kobes

In December 2018, Collins voted to confirm Jonathan A. Kobes to be a judge on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Kobes received a rare “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association. Kobes is a former board member of Bethany Christian Services, a crisis pregnancy center that has helped facilitate the Trump administration’s family separation policy.

David Porter

In October 2018, Collins voted to confirm David Porter to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit. Porter allied himself with anti-choice activists in the Pennsylvania Judicial Network to oppose the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, and has contributed to far-right, anti-choice think tank the Center for Vision and Values.

Britt Grant

In July 2018, Collins voted to confirm Britt Grant to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit. According to NARAL, Grant defended a Georgia law that banned abortion without “adequate exception to protect women’s health or for cases in which pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.”

Andrew Oldham

In July 2018, Collins voted to confirm Andrew Oldham to be a U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the Fifth Circuit. According to NARAL, Oldham defended Texas’ plan to defund Planned Parenthood and the state’s unconstitutional TRAP laws.

Michael Brennan

In May 2018, Collins voted to confirm Michael Brennan to be a U.S. Circuit Judge on the Seventh Circuit. According to NARAL, Brennan argued in favor of anti-choice counseling and mandatory delay laws.

Kurt Engelhardt

In May 2018, Collins voted to confirm Kurt Engelhardt to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit. Engelhardt was a member of Louisiana Lawyers for Life, which promoted an anti-choice agenda.

Stuart Duncan

In April 2018, Collins voted to confirm Stuart Duncan to be a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court for the Fifth District. Duncan has defended voter ID laws, abortion restrictions, and bans on same-sex marriage and adoption. He was a lead lawyer for Hobby Lobby in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

David Stras

In January 2018, Collins voted to confirm David Stras to be a judge on the Eighth Circuit. Stras opposed a ruling that agreed expert witnesses on the behavior of victims could testify in sexual assault cases.

Don Willett

In December 2017, Collins voted to confirm Don Willett to be a judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. According to NARAL, Willet wrote a memo pushing back against the Texas Federation of Business for their support for abortion rights.

Leonard Grasz

In December 2017, Collins voted to confirm Leonard Grasz to be a Judge on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Grasz was rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association. He once argued that abortion “borders on infanticide,” and that abortion providers must prove that they had a “constitutional right to kill a partially born human being.”

Gregory Katsas

In November 2017, Collins voted to confirm Gregory Katsas to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the D.C. Circuit. As Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Katsas defended a late term abortion law, arguing the medical evidence was divided.

Allison Eid

In November 2017, Collins voted to confirm Allison Eid to be a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Eid “earned a reputation as one of [the Colorado Supreme Court’s] most conservative members,” adhering to a “rigid, ultraconservative partisan ideology.” In 2013, Eid voted to review an injunction by a lower court blocking the display of graphic anti-abortion images where children were reasonably likely to see them.

Joan Larsen

In November 2017, Collins voted to confirm Joan Larsen to be a judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Larsen authored an article in the Ohio State Law Journal in which she argued against abortion based on the anti-choice laws of other countries.

Amy Barrett

In October 2017, Collins voted to confirm Amy Barrett to be a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Barrett has confirmed she believes life begins at conception. She signed a letter that said the ACA’s contraceptive coverage policy was an “assault on religious liberty.”

John Bush

In July 2017, Collins voted to confirm John Bush to be a judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Bush compared abortion to slavery, calling them “the two greatest tragedies in our country.”

Brett Kavanaugh

In October 2018, Collins voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as an Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. Kavanaugh was touted by the anti-choice Faith and Freedom Coalition as a “strong voice” to overturn Roe v. Wade. Kavanaugh applauded Justice Rehnquist’s dissent in Roe v. Wade as “stemming the general tide of freewheeling judicial creation of unenumerated rights that were not rooted in the nation’s history and tradition.”

Neil Gorsuch

In April 2017, Collins voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch to be an Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. Gorsuch supported the plaintiffs in the Hobby Lobby case, arguing that the Free Exercise Clause afforded religious employers and organizations an exemption from the ACA’s contraception mandate. Gorsuch also ruled that Utah could legally block Planned Parenthood funding after the doctored videos discussing the selling of fetal tissue were released.