As reported in the Oct. 6 front-page article “Senate poised to confirm Kavanaugh,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) explained her decision to vote in favor of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court in a long speech that may as well have been titled “I Am a Republican and Don’t You Forget It.” One of her arguments not mentioned in the article was that Mr. Kavanaugh was in the judicial mainstream, as demonstrated by the fact that he voted with Judge Merrick Garland in 96 percent of the cases they shared at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Really? Senator, are you familiar with the concept of an argument that proves too much?
So, Mr. Garland voted the same way as Mr. Kavanaugh 96 percent of the time, yet the Republican Party found Mr. Garland’s nomination so objectionable that he didn’t even get a hearing? Sorry, senator, but your hypocrisy is showing.
Dana M. Warren, Washington
I am saddened to see criticisms of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) by many seemingly driven by their emotions, fears and preconceived opinions. She described in her floor speech, in a professional and dispassionate manner, how she reached her conclusion. As a physicist by education and career, I can appreciate the time and study it required for her to go through and weigh all the facts in evidence before reaching her conclusion. Sometimes, in politics as in science, factual analysis does not support preconceived opinions. She did a masterful job and has set a good example for others.
Stephen O. Dean, Montgomery Village
In her support for Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, it surely was overly optimistic for Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to have a “fervent hope” that he will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court so that we will have far fewer 5-to-4 decisions, and that the public’s confidence in the court will be restored. Based upon her optimism, I have the following fervent hopes: North Korea will abandon its nuclear weapons; the war in Afghanistan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be resolved; Russia will not attempt to interfere in future elections; and the country’s gun violence will be eliminated.
I could go on and fervently hope for a lot more, but all of these hopes, including that of Ms. Collins, are more likely hopeless.
Howard Walderman, Columbia
I listened closely to Friday’s floor statements of two Republican senators who came to opposite conclusions about the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. While Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) reached opposite conclusions, each explained the careful and sincere deliberation that led to their votes. Without the manipulative rhetoric so many have employed to inflame the population, they described in heartfelt and dignified terms the weight of their advice-and-consent duty, as well as their concern for the nation over an ugly campaign of character assassination.
Both made clear their careful analysis and confidence in Mr. Kavanaugh’s past legal decisions, and each spoke of his good character. In the end, one voted to reject Democrats’ campaign of personal destruction, and the other concluded with great anguish that, however it had happened, such ugliness — and Mr. Kavanaugh’s response to it — would undermine needed trust in the court.
Rather than feeling condemnation for either, I felt that both acquitted themselves with honor, intelligence and virtue, and each put the well-being of the nation first in their decisions. In listening to these two senators, I found a measure of hope and was reminded of a time when, even in opposition, decency and honor were evident.
Ken Hoagland, Arlington