Collins would oppose court nominee with an 'activist agenda'

Given all of Trump's potential candidates are hostile to abortion, the next few months - starting July 9, when the president is expected to announce his pick - are sure to be a wild, likely demoralizing ride.

More recently, Mr. Trump said that he "probably" will not ask his potential nominees about Roe v. Wade, although in an October 2016 debate, just ahead of his election to the presidency, Mr. Trump said that he thought Roe v. Wade would overturn "automatically" if he were able to appoint multiple justices to the high court.

"So I think what he said as a candidate may not have been informed by the legal advice that he now has that it would be inappropriate for him to ask a nominee how he or she would rule on a specific issue", Collins said. "I am not going to vote for anyone who tells me they are going to decide a case before the facts are presented".

Maine Republican, and frequent key player in major US Senate votes, Susan Collins used this week's Sunday morning circuit to make clear that she is not going to vote for any Supreme Court nominee who appears to be against a woman's right to choose to have an abortion.

Leonard Leo - the anti-abortion Federalist Society executive vice president now on leave to advise the President on Supreme Court nominees, and the originator of Trump's campaign-era list of potential nominees - has been careful to note that names on the list have not taken a public stance on abortion.

"The president told me in our meeting that he would not ask that question", Collins said in a separate interview on CNN. "I also suggested that he broaden his search".

The GOP holds a 51-49 majority in the Senate, and lack of support from two Republicans would require President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to find a Democrat to confirm a replacement for Kennedy.

"I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law", Collins said.

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Another big decision facing President Trump is a nominee for the soon-to-be vacant spot on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In March 2017, Collins endorsed Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who replaced the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

On Sunday, Trump seemed to reaffirm that belief, telling Fox News that abortion "could very well end up with states at some point". In her view, Roe v. Wade is settled law, and she wanted someone on the court who would respect precedent.

He said, "Roe v Wade has been affirmed over the years".

Senate democrats said the vote should wait until next year, when a new Congress is sworn in. Susan Collins (R-Maine), have also supported upholding Roe v. Wade.

Collins of ME is a frequent swing vote in the Senate, which Republicans control by a slim majority.

"You never know how that's going to turn out", Trump said.

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