Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) claimed that she was misled by Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch during their Senate confirmation hearings following the Monday night publishing of a leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

“If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office,” Collins said in a statement. “Obviously, we won’t know each Justice’s decision and reasoning until the Supreme Court officially announces its opinion in this case.”

Collins, a centrist senator, had been a key vote in confirming Gorsuch and Kavanaugh to the high court. She reported in 2018, that after speaking privately with Kavanaugh, she was confident that he felt Roe v. Wade was “settled law.”

Moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), another key vote who voted in favor of Gorsuch during his hearing, was also disappointed in the decision indicated in the draft opinion.


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“Roe is still the law of the land,” Murkowski told reporters on Tuesday. “We don’t know the direction that this decision may ultimately take. If it goes in the direction that this leaked copy has indicated, I would just tell you that it rocks my confidence in the court right now.”

The draft, written by Justice Samuel Alito and circulated among the justices in early February, indicated the court had voted to return the right to decide on abortion laws to individual states marking the end of 1973’s landmark case Roe v. Wade which legalized abortions nationally. The draft showed that Alito had been joined by five other justices: Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, along with Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett. Justices have been known to change their votes during the drafting process and the final opinion isn’t expected until late June.

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