After four controversy-filled days, the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh concluded on September 7th. Kavanaugh’s critics fear that his appointment could mean the end of landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade, and with the vote to confirm him on the horizon, protesters have been attempting to stop his appointment by any means necessary—including mailing coat hangers to Senator Susan Collins.
The Associated Press reported on September 8th that Collins had received about 3,000 coat hangers from people across the United States—a direct reference to the fact that desperate women used to attempt to use the household object to terminate their own pregnancies before abortion was legal—often with terrible, and even fatal, results.
Collins, a Republican who represents Maine, is considered one of the few swing votes in Kavanaugh’s appointment. She hasn’t yet said if she will vote to confirm Kavanaugh, but Time notes that she previously said she wouldn’t confirm a Supreme Court nominee who would overturn Roe v. Wade. This has many hopeful that she will block Kavanaugh’s appointment, especially since during the nominee’s confirmation hearings, a leaked email emerged in which Kavanaugh appeared to suggest that Roe v. Wade could be overturned by the Court.
However, Collins currently seems to be leaning toward a vote for Kavanaugh. On August 22nd, CNN reported that Collins had said she met with the Supreme Court nominee, and that he told her that Roe v. Wade was settled law. Protesters have been fervently trying to change her mind, though.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski—the other Republican swing vote—told CNN that she had not seen anything in Kavanaugh’s record that would cause her to block him. But as of September 8th, her spokeswoman, Hannah Ray, told the AP that Murkowski was “still vetting the new information that’s coming out.” Both Murkowski and Collins would have to vote “no” on Kavanaugh for his appointment to be blocked.
A handful of Democrats in red states could also go either way. According to Mic.com, Senators Joe Donnelly, Claire McCaskill, Heidi Heitkamp, and Joe Manchin are a few of the Democrats who might actually confirm Kavanaugh.
Time reports that the Senate will vote on whether or not to confirm Kavanaugh in the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you’re passionate about reproductive rights, be sure to contact your elected officials—or maybe even send a coat hanger to Collins.