Senator Collins will not back anti-abortion Supreme Court nominee

02 July, 2018, 10:43 | Author: Sheila Harris

"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 and I believe that that is the very important fundamental tenant of our judicial system, which as Chief Justice Roberts says, helps to promote stability and even handedness".

On Sunday, Leonard Leo, an outside adviser to Trump on judicial nominations, said he expected Trump to select a nominee who is mindful of precedent but who is also more "originalist and textualist".

Sen. Lindsey Graham also said Roe v. Wade shouldn't be overturned "unless there is good reason". Justice Anthony Kennedy planned to retire at the end of August. Tammy Duckworth said she would advise her colleagues, including Collins and fellow key vote Sen.

Collins said Trump had told her personally he would not ask potential nominees about their position on Roe, despite his having said as a candidate that he would take a nominee's willingness to reverse Roe as a litmus test. Vice-president Mike Pence, an outspoken evangelical Christian, has called for Roe to be relegated to "the ash heap of history".

Trump, who's spending the weekend with family, had "extensive" conversations by phone with White House Counsel Don McGahn to seek additional insights on some of the likely finalists, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the process.

"I had a very long discussion with Justice Gorsuch in my office, and he pointed out to me that he is a co-author of a whole book on precedent".

"It's probably going to be vicious because the other side, all they can do is obstruct and resist", Trump said in an interview with Fox Business that aired Sunday.

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"So a nominee's position on whether or not they respect precedent will tell me a lot about whether or not they would overturn Roe v. Wade", she explained.

Collins noted that she was in favor of moving forward with a nominee in the next couple months, so a new justice could be in place by the time the Supreme Court's next term begins in October.

This would be the president's second court pick.

But many on the left and the right believe that Trump's shortlist of candidates is made up of judges who would be open to scaling back abortion rights because they have been vetted by Leo and conservatives already, so the president doesn't need to ask the question openly.

As one of the Senate's more moderate Republican members, Collins' vote could be crucial to the future of abortion rights in America. "If they vote for somebody who's going to change precedent, it could be a career-ending move".

Sen. Collins also stated that somebody who might want to overturn the ruling would have an "activist agenda".

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