5:18pm ET update:
After publication, Big League Politics received word from the University of Southern Maine’s president, Glenn Cummings, saying that they had pulled the free credit offering:
“This pop-up course was hastily arranged in the past 24 hours, without the knowledge of the Provost or myself. It was not appropriately reviewed nor went through proper channels. As soon as the Provost and I were apprised of the course, we immediately pulled the one-credit offering. We also made sure that no USM monies were being used for the trip. University policy makes it absolutely clear that our public, taxpayer funded institutions must be non-partisan in terms of political activity and institutionally impartial in all political, religious and social matters that are unrelated to our universities’ core mission of education, research, and public service.”
The University of Southern Maine is giving one free credit hour to students who participate in a protest against Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), according to emails obtained by Big League Politics.
“Students can earn 1 credit FREE for enrolling in this Pop-Up course on “Engaged Citizenship,” the email said. “The requirements of the pop-up include: busing overnight to Washington D.C. to join activists, political action groups and social justice organizations to meet Sen. Collins. Rally up around the FBI investigation of the Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh.”
The email describes the trip’s agenda, which includes the students being “escorted to the capitol Thursday morning.”
“This Pop-Up Course is Tuition FREE for all matriculated USM undergrads,” according to the email. Tuition fees waved at completion of course.”
A Google doc attachment asks students what type of protest they are interested in – including whether they are willing to get arrested, and informs the students that “bail is about $50/arrest,” instructing them to “have a plan.”
This partisan protest against Collins comes at the expense of the Maine taxpayers, considering that USM is a public institution. Nowhere in the email is Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) mentioned. King is certain to vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and the students apparently will not seek him out on Capitol Hill.
Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski Emerge as Republican Red Flags in Potential SCOTUS Confirmation
They say they’ll vote ‘No.’
Republican Senators Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have emerged as early ‘red flags’ in the push to appoint a new Supreme Court justice, with the latter two senators having spoken openly of their refusal to vote for a new justice in the runup to a presidential election. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died on Friday, opening up a vacancy on the court.
Collins allegedly told a New York Times reporter that she wouldn’t vote for a new SCOTUS justice in ‘October’ earlier this month.
News: @SenatorCollins told me earlier this month in Maine that she would not seat a Supreme Court justice in October.
“I think that’s too close, I really do,” she said.
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) September 19, 2020
Murkowski told a reporter with Alaska Public Media that she wouldn’t vote for a new justice before the election, either.
— Liz Ruskin (@lruskin) September 18, 2020
Reports emerged on Friday night that Romney would decline to vote for a court confirmation as well, although they’re yet to be verified.
— Jim Dabakis (@JimDabakis) September 19, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pledging to hold confirmation proceedings for a potential Trump Supreme Court nominee, suggesting that a nominee would receive a Senate floor vote before the election. He distinguished between the 2016 blocked nomination of Merrick Garland and the vacancy that arose from the death of Ginsberg, pointing out that a Republican President would be nominating a justice for confirmation through a Republican Senate.
It may be possible to confirm a new SCOTUS justice without the votes of the three-liberally inclined Senate Republicans, as a justice can be confirmed with 50 votes and a vice presidential tiebreaker. Other Republican Senators under the pressure of an ongoing campaign, such as Arizona’s Martha McSally, spoke in favor of the Senate having a floor vote on a tentative Trump administration SCOTUS nominee.
This U.S. Senate should vote on President Trump's next nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.
— Martha McSally (@SenMcSallyAZ) September 19, 2020
This could be the most heated Supreme Court confirmation process in history, and some the Senate Republican’s members have already confirmed they’re not standing with conservatives.
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