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Protesters Urge Collins to Reject Gorsuch and 'Nuclear Option'

Patty Wight
Maine Public
Protesters Wednesday rally outside the Lewiston, Maine, office of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins.

Protesters in Lewiston and Portland Wednesday called on Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine to reject Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and the so-called “nuclear option.”

Standing outside Collins’ office in Lewiston, Renee Cote of Auburn says she hopes the senator will oppose that option, which would change Senate rules to allow Republicans to push Gorsuch’s nomination through with a simple majority vote.

“And that Donald Trump will be forced to nominate a more centrist nominee. And that would be a show of good faith on his part, that he wants to nominate someone in the mold of Merrick Garland,” she says.

Cote says she opposes Gorsuch because of what she describes as his pro-business philosophy.

Marie-Estelle Gill of Sabattus says she opposes Gorsuch because in previous rulings he has favored corporations over people.

“The Supreme Court is our highest place to go for help. We don’t need another person who goes against the people,” she says.

Pat Fogg of Greene says she’s concerned that, if 49-year-old Gorsuch is appointed, he will stay on the bench for decades.

“The majority of his opinions have been for corporate interests. So that, to me, does not bode well on the Supreme Court for the next 50 years,” she says.

Collins supports Gorusch, and a spokeswoman says the senator was heavily involved in the negotiations with members of both parties to avert changing the rules, but the discussions are now at an impasse.

The Senate is expected to vote on Gorsuch tomorrow. Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine announced Tuesday he will vote against the nominee.