So there was Senator Collins on network television over the weekend offering herself as some kind of bulwark against the return of back-alley medical care, boldly declaring that any nominee "who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me".
The president told reporters Friday that he was homing in on up to seven candidates, including two women, and would announce his choice on July 9.
"I told [Trump] that I was looking for a nominee that would demonstrate a respect for precedent, a long-standing and vital tenet of our judicial system", Collins said Sunday on ABC. Overturning that 1973 ruling would not make abortion illegal, but it would allow individual states to ban the procedure.
But she emphasized that they had to talk about precedent.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME, an abortion rights supporter, is considered one of the key votes on a nominee. "I don't think it's going to be overturned no matter who the president appoints".
Adding to the worries of those who support abortion access, Collins's spokesman has previously said that the senator "does not apply ideological litmus tests to nominees" when asked whether she would take a nominee's stance on Roe v. Wade into account.
The move is part of a broader push by the White House to rapidly confirm a replacement for Kennedy before the court's new term begins in October. He has often served as a swing vote between the court's liberal and conservative justices.
Wallace asked if it was fair to say if the four people are the front runners in the search to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.
You know what's more disconcerting than a handful of intellectual, ambitious, over-qualified women on Trump's Supreme Court short list? That judicial approach typically involves a more literal interpretation of the Constitution as compared to broader rulings such as Roe.
Federal appeals court judges Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett have gained the most interest from Trump and his team, said the person familiar with the selection process.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced Monday morning Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah is being reassigned to focus on getting the president's nominee confirmed.
"The bottom line: Judge Barrett has given every indication that she will be an activist judge on the court", Schumer said.
Many experts question whether Roberts, in particular, would be willing to go that far, given comments such as the one Collins cited, where he extolled the importance of stare decisis and also said that Roe was settled law. Even Leonard Leo of the conservative Federalist Society, who is advising Trump on his Court pick, has noted the importance of precedent.
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