On Tuesday, more than 230 Maine attorneys sent a letter to Senators Collins and King calling on them to oppose the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The 233 lawyers are from across the state, from Woodland to Eastport to York. The Republican and Democrat signers include senior partners and junior associates at major Portland law firms and small town solo practitioners, small business owners and corporate in-house counsel for some of Maine’s largest employers, criminal defense lawyers and prosecutors, professors, current and former state legislators, the chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, a member of the Patriotic Millionaires, and several Assistant District Attorneys. The letter was coordinated and spearheaded by Ben Gaines, treasurer of Mainers for Accountable Leadership. The full letter and list of signatories follows.

Dear Senators Collins and King:

We, the undersigned Maine attorneys, respectfully urge you to oppose the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. We come from diverse backgrounds and areas of practice. While individually we have points we each consider to be of paramount importance, collectively we wish to draw your attention to a few key reasons why you should vote against Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

First, we are concerned that Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated ideological hostility to the holding in Roe v. Wade and to the constitutional right to privacy that, among other guarantees, protects a woman’s ability to make her own medical decisions and reproductive choices. We support legal abortion, without government interference — Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination threatens that right. After the President promised to nominate anti-abortion judges, he selected Judge Kavanaugh from a list provided and vetted by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. In a speech to the American Enterprise Institute this past September, Kavanaugh characterized Roe as “freewheeling judicial creation of unenumerated rights.” Just weeks later, Kavanaugh was added to the President’s short list.

Judge Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence reveals hostility toward abortion. In a 2017 case, Garza v. Hargan, Kavanaugh dissented to voice support for the Trump administration’s refusal to allow an immigrant in custody access to abortion services. In 2015, in Priests for Life v. Department of Health and Human Serv., Judge Kavanaugh, again dissenting, sided with attenuated, and what he ceded might be “misguided,” religious views over women’s rights to abortion and contraception.

We conclude that if Judge Kavanaugh is seated on the Supreme Court he is likely to cast the fifth vote, making a majority, to erode or eliminate federal protections for a woman’s right to choose.

Second, we anticipate that Judge Kavanaugh, if elevated to the Supreme Court, will vote to unravel what remains of the Affordable Care Act, forcing premiums higher, stripping protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, and dismantling the essential health benefits provisions. In a speech to the Heritage Foundation in October 2017, just a month prior to being added to the President’s short list, Kavanaugh criticized Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion in NFIB v. Sebelius, and even suggested that the Supreme Court “consider jettisoning the constitutional avoidance canon.”

Previously, in 2011, Judge Kavanaugh dissented in Seven-Sky v. Holder, against an opinion upholding the ACA. In his dissent, Kavanaugh suggested that a future President, “may decline to enforce a statute that regulates private individuals when the President deems the statute unconstitutional, even if a court has held or would hold the statute constitutional.”

Third, we are troubled by Judge Kavanaugh’s extreme partisan background. From his work under Kenneth Starr to draft the Clinton impeachment referral to participation on the Republican team that litigated Bush v. Gore to service in the George W. Bush White House, Judge Kavanaugh has been a Republican political operative for much of his career. There are many appropriate roles for such a partisan to continue to serve the public, but replacing Justice Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court should not be one of them.

A judiciary independent of the other branches of government and removed from partisan rancor should be a bulwark of American democracy. As Margaret Chase Smith wrote, “The importance of individual thinking to the preservation of our freedom cannot be overemphasized.” The American people must remain confident that the Justices of the Supreme Court are dedicated to such individual thinking rather than partisan loyalties.

Especially at a time when the President, his business, his campaign, and his foundation are subjects of civil and criminal investigation and prosecutions in multiple state and federal jurisdictions, some of which unquestionably will end up before for the Supreme Court, the appearance of impartiality is as important today as it has ever been. Moreover, in light of recent indictments and the President’s indefensible statements and behavior in Helsinki and upon his return, we respectfully suggest that it is in the best interests of the United States to table any nomination to replace Justice Kennedy and set aside the process until Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation has concluded.

Finally, we have concerns that Judge Kavanaugh has displayed an apparent pattern of dishonesty. In his May 2006 confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh flatly stated, “I was not involved and am not involved in the questions about the rules governing detention of combatants, and so I do not have any involvement with that.” However, The Washington Post later reported that Kavanaugh had argued to White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez and Solicitor General Ted Olson that Justice Anthony Kennedy “would never accept absolute presidential discretion to declare a U.S. citizen an enemy and lock him up without giving him an opportunity to be represented and heard.”

Immediately upon his nomination to the Supreme Court, Judge Kavanaugh went out of his way to make the dubious claim that, “no president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination.” That Kavanaugh would so openly launch into unverifiable and fawning hyperbole at the moment he was chosen to sit on the highest court in the land ought to raise serious questions about his credibility and integrity.

This list is far from comprehensive. We have additional concerns regarding Judge Kavanaugh’s tendency to favor more powerful interests over the weak and powerless. His writing and decisions too often come down against regulations to protect the environment, labor, small business and fair elections. We implore you to carefully weigh each of these factors, and we urge you to oppose the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Sincerely, Beth Ahearn, Cindy Allen, Lindsay Allen, Ryan Almy, Nancy C. Anderson, Justin Andrus, Roberta L. de Araujo, Cynthia Arn, Michael Asen, Jennifer Atkinson, Amber Attalla, Peter Baldacci, Philip Bartlett, Severin Beliveau, Seth Berner, Francis Bigelow, Lindsey Bigelow, Michael Bigos, Christopher C. Boots, Robert Borowski, Twain Braden, Craig Bramley, Zachary B. Brandwein, Christopher Branson, John Brautigam, Max Brooks, Richard N. Bryant, Deborah Buccina, Brenda M. Buchanan, Jenna Burt-Weeks, Anthony W. Buxton, Julia Brown, Julie Browne, Jamie Bryant, Andrew Cadot, Benjamin P. Campo, Jr., Robin Casey, Ezekiel Callahan, Kathryn Chesney, Diane Cipollone, James Cloutier, Mark A. Cloutier, Thomas W. Cloutier, Kimberly Cook, Mary Costigan, Andrew Cotter, Anne Birgel Cunningham, Alicia M. Cushing, Jed Davis, Andrew T. Dawson, Kevan Lee Deckelmann, Alison Denham, Rachel Deschuytner, Shawn Doil, Eliza Donoghue, Daphne Hallett Donahue, Martica Douglas, Thomas Douglas, Letson B. Douglass, Matthew R. Dubois, Paul Dumas, Jr., Diane Dusini, Asha Echeverria, Andrew S. Edwards, Meredith Eilers, Carol Eisenberg, Isabel Ekman, Elizabeth Ernst, Susan Faunce, Tom Brendan Federle, Thomas Feeley, Peter Fessenden, Amanda Fickett, Kevin Fitzgerald, Karen Bay Fox, Maria Fox, Polly Haight Frawley, Lisa J. Friedlander, Benjamin Gaines, Britton Ryan Garon, Carol Garvan, Molly B. Gilligan, Sarah Glidden, Sol Goldman, Robert Goodrich, Betts Gorsky, Jennifer Burns Gray, Lee Anne Graybeal, Emily K. Green, Paul J. Greene, Joseph Gribbin, Danielle Hansen, Dawn Harmon, Theressa Harrigan, Reid Hayton-Hull, J. Jason Heinze, Peter F. Herzog, Ernest W. Hilton, Jon Hinck, Susan C. Hopkins, Kaitlyn Husar, Margaret Jeffery, Catherine B. Johnson, Miriam Johnson, Bambi Jones, Katherine A. Joyce, John S. Kaminski, Max Katler, Michael Kebede, Tim Keiter, William Kennedy, Diane Khiel, Bre Kidman, Taylor Kilgore, Mara King, Erna Koch, Barry Kohler, Alice Kopij, Andrew Kraus, Matthew J. LaMourie, Peter Landis, Gail M. Latouf, Sarah E. LeClaire, Catherine Lee, Kenneth W. Lehman, John Lemieux, Lindsay Leone, Rob Levin, Frances C. Lindemann, Susan Livingston, Susan LoGiudice, Susan Lowery, Anne Macri, Lisa Magnacca, Elizabeth Mahoney, Maeghan Maloney, Peter Mancuso, Brian Marshall, Jorge Martinez, Bonnie L. Martinolich, Andrew T. Mason, Hugh M. Maynard, Christopher McCabe, Benjamin T. McCall, Bruce McGlauflin, Jim McGurty, Alysia N. Melnick, Jonathan Mermin, Nandini Merz, Vivian Mikhail, Daniel Monahan, Robert Montgomery, Sara Moppin, M. Jane Moriarty, Patty Morris, Jacqueline R. Moss, Shana Cook Mueller, Isabel Mullin, Melissa Murphy, Sara Murphy, Peter L. Murray, Tina Heather Nadeau, Sandy Nesin, Matthew Nichols, Adam Nyhan, Christopher Nyhan, Richard O'Meara, Amy K. Olfene, Patricia A. Peard, Russell B. Pierce, Jr., Benjamin S. Piper, Victoria Powers, Brian Ranta, Julie Ray, Howard Reben, Tara Anne Rich, Amy T. Robidas, Susan Roche, Peter M. Rosenberg, Jeffrey Russell, Linda Russell, Anita St. Onge, Heather Sanborn, Jacqueline Sartoris, Jody Sataloff, Andrew Schmidt, Barbara T. Schneider, Tim Schneider, Rachel White Sears, Timothy R. Shannon, Molly Watson Shukie, John B. Shumadine, Beth A. Smith, Michael S. Smith, Tammie Snow, Eric Stauffer, Annabelle Steinhacker, Bob Stevens, Elizabeth Stouder, Elizabeth Stout, Paige Streeter, Maureen Sturtevant, Zachary Tackett, Frayla Tarpinian, Marshall Tinkle, Sharon S. Tisher, Lisa K. Toner, Sharon Anglin Treat, Dyana C. Tull, Stanley Tupper, Anne Underwood, Lee Urban, Abigail C. Varga, Kathryn Vezina, Amy J. Visentin, Andru Volinsky, Benjamin Wahrer, Caitlin Ross Wahrer, Shawn P. Walsh, Nancy A. Wanderer, Stephen G. Ward, Matt Warner, David Webb, David Webbert, Lauren Weliver, Daniel A. Wentworth, John S. Whitman, Valerie Z. Wicks, Lauren Wille, Lynne Williams, Judith Wohl, Charles J. Wood and David M. Zirschk