Brett Kavanaugh Just Made Susan Collins A Liar
Once upon a time, Susan Collins, the Republican Senator from Maine, announced her plans to vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court -- and, in doing so, explained that he was definitely not a threat to reproductive rights because of how very much he loved precedent. She assured us all that she would never, ever vote for someone whom she believed was a threat to Roe v. Wade.
There has also been considerable focus on the future of abortion rights based on the concern that Judge Kavanaugh would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. Protecting this right is important to me. To my knowledge, Judge Kavanaugh is the first Supreme Court nominee to express the view that precedent is not merely a practice and tradition, but rooted in Article 3 of our Constitution itself. He believes that precedent is not just a judicial policy, it is constitutionally dictated to pay attention and pay heed to rules of precedent. In other words, precedent isn't a goal or an aspiration. It is a constitutional tenet that has to be followed except in the most extraordinary circumstances.
Because really, who can say that just because a guy allegedly tried to rape someone once, or because he has a history of voting against reproductive rights, that he's going to actually vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?
On Thursday, Brett Kavanaugh was given his first chance to show us all that Susan Collins was right and we were all just being silly, paranoid fools. Brett Kavanaugh did not do that.
Last night, the court issued its ruling in a case involving a Louisiana law (the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act) that would require the state's few remaining abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Thankfully, this incredibly stupid law was shot down 5-4, with Justice Roberts voting with the liberals.
This, according to some very stupid people, now makes him an Obama appointee, which should come as a big surprise to George W. Bush.
Either that, or John Roberts has been to a hospital at some point in his life? One of the two!
Writing the dissent, however, was none other than Brett "Definitely Not A Threat To Our Reproductive Rights" Kavanaugh -- which you can read here. His dissent hinges on his belief that the admitting privileges statute will not impact the ability of women and others in the state to access abortion, or impede doctors from performing them. Which would be odd, considering that this is the entire point of this kind of legislation. It's particularly difficult for abortion providers to get admitting privileges, largely because many hospitals are Catholic hospitals and simply won't give it to them.
If you will notice, at no point in his dissent does Kavanaugh explain why he thinks requiring hospital admitting privileges is a good or important thing. He has no idea and neither does anyone else. Literally no one can explain why this would be at all helpful, or why they are not requiring the same thing of other doctors who do not work out of hospitals. A person is 40 times more likely to die from a colonoscopy than an abortion, and yet for some reason there is no major push to require gastroenterologists to have admitting privileges anywhere. Gee, I wonder why that might be?
This is because, for the 87,000th time, admitting privileges mean literally nothing. If there's an emergency and you end up in an ambulance, the EMTs are not going to be asking you which hospital your doctor has admitting privileges at and then taking you there. They're taking you to the one they can get to the fastest. Your doctor having admitting privileges doesn't mean you get to bump the triage line or that your records get transferred any faster than they would otherwise. All it means is that your doctor can, hypothetically, do some consultation or even treat you at a certain hospital. Doctors are almost definitely not ever going to do this, because they probably have other patients and other doctors can handle things.
We have established before that many -- if not most -- conservatives, as a people, simply have no idea what triage is or how hospitals and doctors work. It is a mystery to them, and yet they insist upon crafting laws based on their own ignorance. Call me crazy, but I think that if someone does not know how hospitals or doctors or ambulances work, that they should have to recuse themselves from voting or ruling on anything having to do with them. Also they shouldn't be in charge of voting or ruling on anything, period, because if they can't figure that out, then they are extremely stupid people.
Brett Kavanaugh is going to take away our reproductive rights. That is a given. We told Susan Collins that last year, and she refused to listen. It's not a fun "I told you so," but it's certainly expected.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse