In the wake of Brett Kavanaugh’s dissenting opinion on an abortion case late Thursday, critics called Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins everything from “a raging fool” to an utter dupe for helping to put him on the Supreme Court.

They blamed the four-term Maine senator for providing Kavanaugh with the opportunity to join the losing side of a 5-4 ruling that blocked proposed restrictions on who could perform abortions in Louisiana.

Collins’ office dismissed the criticism as both unwarranted and par for the course from “far left” foes.

A pro-choice group, NARAL Pro-Choice America, said that “it only took Kavanaugh four months into his lifetime appointment on the bench to prove that Susan Collins’ insistence that he would respect precedent was a complete lie.”

It isn’t clear that Kavanaugh’s dissent is as ominous for abortion rights as pro-choice advocates argue.

The new justice didn’t join three colleagues who are clearly opposed to abortion. Instead, in a separate opinion, he said there is no evidence the Louisiana law to restrict doctors from performing abortions unless they have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital would affect the availability of abortions because it gave physicians 45 days to secure the required permission.

If it turned out they couldn’t comply, Kavanaugh said, the doctors could return to court.

Annie Clark, the communications director for Collins, said that “a lot of the critics of Justice Kavanaugh’s dissenting opinion haven’t even read it.”

“While the far left was quick and enthusiastic with their criticism today, it’s noteworthy that they greeted Justice Kavanaugh’s decision in the recent Planned Parenthood case — where he provided the decisive vote in Planned Parenthood’s favor — with near total silence,” she said.

Planned Parenthood noted Friday that the outcome of the Louisiana case means “access to abortion in the state remains protected for now,” but expressed concern that “Kavanaugh’s dissent reminds us the threat to Roe v. Wade remains very real.”

Clark pointed out that during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, “Planned Parenthood was Justice Kavanaugh’s No. 1 opponent. They went after him with everything that they had.”

“And yet, when it came to a case involving them, he was able to put that aside and rule impartially and independently,” she said.

Collins played a pivotal role in securing Kavanaugh’s nomination when she said she believed he would respect precedent and leave abortion laws intact.

She insisted in an October speech on the Senate floor that “his views on honoring precedent would preclude attempts to do by stealth that which one has committed not to do overtly” to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that recognized women’s right to choose to have an abortion.

But Kavanaugh’s decision on the Louisiana law appears to run counter to one the court made recently about a similar Texas law, a move that convinced pro-choice supporters to express alarm that Roe could be in trouble.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who served as the national Democratic Party chairman after losing a 2004 bid for president, said on Twitter that Collins will have to defend her vote for Kavanaugh next year if she runs for re-election “because it’s likely Roe will not exist” any longer.

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels, called Collins “a complete fraud and an embarrassment to the state of Maine” on his Twitter account.

The Nation, a left-wing magazine, said the Kavanaugh decision made Collins look like “a raging fool.”

Nancy Lee Grahn, a soap opera star, tweeted that “not only does @SenatorCollins have the intuition of carpet lint, she has the spine of a jellyfish.”

Jeff Greenfield, a longtime political reporter on television, said on Twitter that Collins was “either delusional or disingenuous” when she declared Kavanaugh would not seek to restrict abortions.

Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, a liberal activist who once sang with Sha Na Na, wrote to Collins on Twitter to tell her to “get ready to explain to your constituents whether you’re so dumb & naive you got duped by Kavanaugh or you secretly want Roe overturned.”

Also taking to Twitter, Seth Abramson, a University of New Hampshire professor and frequent critic of President Donald Trump, said, “Man, who besides EVERYONE IN AMERICA BUT SUSAN COLLINS could have seen this coming?”

A liberal group named Demand Justice said Friday it planned to launch digital advertisements against Collins soon because of Kavanaugh’s ruling on the abortion case.

Clark said if her critics weren’t griping about Kavanaugh, they would be targeting Collins for something else.

“This is not a new phenomenon,” she said. “It happens all the time.”

“One obvious example was in 2008 when the far left said she could never survive against a well-funded Democratic opponent with Barack Obama at the top of the ticket,” Clark said. “She not only survived, she won every county in Maine and received 61 percent of the vote.”

“The people of Maine have always appreciated Senator Collins’ diligent work ethic, her extraordinary command of federal issues, and her thoughtful and deliberative approach,” Clark said.

“And that’s exactly how she’s going to continue to proceed.”

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In this file photo, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, meets with Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh at her office on Capitol Hill before his confirmation last year. (AP file photo)


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