Collins opposes Trump’s district court pick

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Tuesday voted against one of President Trump‘s district court nominees. 
 

Collins was the only GOP senator who opposed ending debate on Sarah Pitlyk’s nomination to be a judge for the Eastern District of Missouri. 

 
A final vote on Pitlyk is scheduled for Wednesday. She overcame Tuesday’s hurdle in a 50-43 vote, meaning she’s likely to be confirmed. 
 
Collins, a moderate senator who is up for reelection next year, has opposed several judicial picks recently, including Steven Menashi for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, Chad Readler for the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and Wendy Vitter to be a district judge.  
 

Collins, in a statement, said Pitlyk’s lack of experience and concerns that the nominee would not be able to set aside her personal views on abortion were reasons she was opposing the nomination. 

 

“After a careful review of the Judiciary Committee proceedings and Ms. Pitlyk’s legal practice, I have concluded that she does not have sufficient experience to receive a federal district court appointment,” Collins said.

  
She added that Pitlyk’s “lack of trial experience would make it difficult for her to transition to a district court judgeship.” 
 
Pitlyk’s was rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association, according to a memo sent to Senate Judiciary Committee leadership. The outside group’s standing committee said it “believes that Ms. Pitlyk does not have the requisite trial or litigation experience or its equivalent.” 
 

Pitlyk has also drawn fierce pushback from Democrats and outside groups because of her statements on abortion as well as in vitro fertilization and surrogacy.  

 
Pitlyk — who serves as the special counsel for the Thomas More Society, a conservative law firm — told the National Catholic Register that “surrogacy is harmful to mothers and children, so it’s a practice society should not be enforcing.”

“My concern is not based on Ms. Pitlyk’s personal views on abortion or various medical decisions, which she has every right to hold. I do question, however, given her pattern of strident advocacy, whether she could put aside her personal views on these matters,” Collins added.

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Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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