While liberal advocacy groups and others are gearing up for a major confirmation fight, Trump is charging ahead with an imminent decision to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, and potentially move the court more solidly to the right.
And while it appears that Senator Lee is now also a part of the short list, he has no judicial experience, while all other assumed contenders do. She is a graduate of Notre Dame Law School and previously clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Trump is choosing his nominee from a list of 25 candidates vetted by conservative groups and conducted interviews with potential nominees on Monday and Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from ME, reiterated that she could not vote for a nominee with a "demonstrated hostility" to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a woman's right to an abortion.
Cruz's pitch comes only days after Lee's office confirmed the senator was formally interviewed by the president about the Supreme Court opening. Susan Collins of ME, two relative centrists who have expressed concern over the dismantling of abortion rights in the U.S. "Republicans have run roughshod over traditions to get these Federalist Society nominees approved, and we're making sure that we communicate just how unprecedented this list is - to have specific litmus tests for Supreme Court justices". All three were nominated by Republican presidents. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to reject a nominee who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Collins, a pro-choice centrist who has bucked her party on pivotal votes in the past, will be one of the most closely watched by Democrats and Republicans alike. The source said he would not be surprised if Trump firmed up his choice before leaving for a trip to Montana later on Thursday. Barrett, who only became a judge in November 2017, could use more experience on the bench, and the administration might save her for the event that 85-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves the court.
Some conservatives have pointed to Kethledge as a potential justice in the mold of Neil Gorsuch, Mr. Trump's first Supreme Court nominee previous year. "I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade", Collins said.