Sen. Cantwell weighs in on SCOTUS pick

Aside from her comment Roe v. Wade, Collins also told ABC that Trump should expand his Supreme Court justice list of candidates beyond the original 25 he's touted. On Sunday she told CNN she did not believe Gorsuch would seek to undermine Roe, because Gorsuch had authored a book on judicial precedent. "I think we'll have a lot of support".

President Trump said on Fox News on Sunday that he expects his next Supreme Court pick "to go very quickly".

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In an interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, Trump said his advisers have told him he should not ask anyone on his potential list of Supreme Court nominees whether they would overturn Roe v Wade, the 1973 decision that effectively legalized abortion in the United States.

Though Kennedy was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan, a conservative, he was considered a swing vote.

"And I ask probing questions to try to determine whether they are going to be an activist judge with an agenda, which I don't want on either the left or the right", the senator added. Susan Collins (R-ME) about her history of getting "played' by confirming judges who believe that abortion right for women should be restricted or abolished".

Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate, and it's even closer because of the absence of ailing Sen. She said she wouldn't vote for someone who would overturn Roe v. Wade.

During the same interview, Collins said there are individuals on President Donald Trump's shortlist who she would not support, citing their alleged "disrespect" for stare decisis. "I would like to see it overturned but I've always been that way". In her view, Roe v. Wade is settled law, and she wanted someone on the court who would respect precedent.

And while Democrats fear another conservative justice in general, one large area of focus will be on any nominee's stance on abortion.

The phrase is often invoked in the context of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case establishing a constitutional basis for abortion rights that Democrats have warned may now be in jeopardy. So far, Murkowski has stayed relatively mum on the topic, saying only that she would "carefully scrutinize the qualifications of judicial nominees" and would cast an "independent vote".

"What I want to see is a nominee who, regardless of his or her personal views on the very hard and contentious life issue, is going to respect precedent, regardless", she said. "The Department of Justice is fully engaged to support the nomination and confirmation efforts", Sanders said in a statement Monday.

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