Dozens of people gathered in Portland on Monday morning to present a letter to Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine asking her not to vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until sexual assault allegations against him are investigated.
The letter was written on a large poster board and signed by Maine survivors of sexual assault and their supporters. Dini Merz, one of the directors of Mainers for Accountable Leadership, presented the letter to a member of Collins’ staff at her office in Downtown Portland.
“We’ve watched as our Sen. Collins demurely refuses to see Brett’s lies and obfuscations, his proclivity toward authoritarianism, his refusal to name any previous court decisions as established precedent and his writings that clearly demonstrate that he is a threat to a woman’s right to choose,” she says.
Lucy Sullivan of Portland says Collins’ reluctance to take a stand on Kavanaugh is part of a disturbing pattern of behavior since Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.
“I think it has soured me on her a little that I don’t actually see her opposing his behavior or his appointees in any meaningful ways. I mean it’s one thing to be appalled at his tweets, but what are you doing about his appointees, what are you doing about his policies? So certainly since 2016 things have changed,” she says.
The protest, organized by Mainers for Accountable Leadership and the national women’s group UltraViolet Action, is part of an ongoing campaign to pressure Collins to vote against Kavanaugh, who has now been accused of sexual assault by two women.
Dozens of protesters were arrested this morning outside Collins’ Washington, D.C., office. The protesters wore “Be A Hero” shirts as part of the pressure campaign against Collins.