Advertising Arms Race in Maine Over Brett Kavanaugh

NARAL ups the ante with new half-million-dollar buy

Brett Kavanaugh adjusts his nameplate as he takes his seat for day three of his confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on Thursday morning, Sept. 6, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A political advertising war related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has broken out in Maine over abortion, aiming to influence the vote of its senior senator, Republican Susan Collins.

It comes after the circulation of “committee confidential” documents in which Democrats throw cold water on Kavanaugh’s statements about what he has maintained is his respect for precedent when it comes to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that established a right to abortion.

A day after Politico reported that One Nation, a Republican PAC aligned with supporters of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, was investing $300,000 in support of Kavanaugh in Maine, the abortion rights group NARAL Pro Choice America is upping the ante.

The group, which supports abortion rights, told Roll Call it is adding $500,000 to an existing $270,000 buy featuring the story of Michelle Fish of Topsham, Maine, making a direct appeal to Collins to oppose Kavanaugh.

Collins has not yet said how she intends to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the high court.

“In the time since this nomination was announced, I have spent a lot of time talking to people from every corner of Maine, including our over 10,000 members in the state,” NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said.

In testimony at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Kavanaugh denied the Democrats’ interpretation of his comments from 2003, saying he was merely pointing out that not all scholars, nor even all the justices on the Supreme Court, consider Roe v. Wade settled law. 

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