Trump says he has interviewed 4 candidates for high court

Donald Trump

Collins, who fully supports abortion, said any justice who supports reversing Roe v. Wade is an "activist" justice who does not belong on the high court. Collins reportedly wants the president to tack on some additional jurists to his list of 25 potential new justices.

"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, R-Maine, said on CNN's "State of the Union".

Immediately, the Judicial Crisis Network, which pushed heavily for Trump's first Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, released a 30-second video advertisement as part of a seven-figure campaign to confirm "another great justice", despite not even knowing who the next nominee would be.

Among the precedents that some are anxious the court could possibly reverse: the same-sex marriage law and the abortion case, Roe v. Wade. But during his Senate confirmation hearing, he said he accepts Roe v. Wade as "the law of the land". Pryor was a top finalist to replace Justice Antonin Scalia's seat past year, but sources say Pryor has been eliminated this time around. Trump said while running for president that he would nominate "pro-life" justices to the Court, but it's not exactly clear how pro-life they have to be.

Collins also said Sunday that she has urged the president to expand his list of potential nominees, as there are a number of people on the list she believes do not respect judicial precedent.

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"A candidate for this important position who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me", Collins said.

"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.

Trump has said he will announce his pick to fill the seat of retiring justice Anthony Kennedy on 9 July.

In the current political climate, where Supreme Court nominations is a highly polarizing process, more campaigning and money is needed for groups that would like to curry favor with the public. Collins said she would only back a judge who would show respect for settled law such as the Roe decision, which has always been anathema to conservatives. And I would tell my pro-life friends, you can be pro-life and conservative, but you can also believe in stare decisis [letting legal precedent stand].

In April 2017, Collins joined her Republican colleagues in a party-line 52-48 vote to change Senate rules so that Supreme Court nominees need only a simple majority rather than a supermajority of 60 votes to be confirmed, a move that gives minority Democrats little hope to prevent a vote. "Four months until elections for the U.S. House of Representatives and 50 percent of American voters say they plan to vote for Democratic candidates".

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