An advocacy group called One Nation last week began running a digital ad calling on Nelson to "say no to the left" and support Trump's pick. "We are excited about the opportunity of putting justices on the court who are going to look at the original intent of the constitution and rule in that manner", said Carol Trobias of the National Right to Life Committee. He consulted with advisers during a weekend at his Bedminster golf club, and the White House has mobilized a team to manage the nomination and confirmation process.
The White House also announced Monday that spokesman Raj Shah is taking a leave of absence from his position to work full time on overseeing the communications effort associated with the upcoming Supreme Court pick. Trump said previous year he'd asked for input from the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation on potential Supreme Court justices; Casey called them "hard-right organizations".
In 2002, according to Talking Points Memo, Collins said: "The Republican party should be as synonymous with protecting a woman's right to choose as the Democratic party is with expanded government or raising taxes".
With the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, Chief Justice Roberts will be the new man in the middle on the Supreme Court.
John McCain being traeated for cancer at home in Arizona, Trump's next nominee is even more vulnerable to potential no votes from Collins or Murkowski.
U.S. President Donald Trump said he met with four potential Supreme Court justices on Monday, while a person familiar with the selection process said Trump was focused keenly on two people, although others were still in contention.
The White House also announced Monday that the overall confirmation process would be led by White House counsel Donald McGahn, as it was during the process that led to the successful confirmation a year ago of Justice Neil Gorsuch. That judicial approach typically involves a more literal interpretation of the Constitution, and not reading into the Constitution language that doesn't explicitly appear. Republicans now control 51 seats in the Senate, which would ordinarily mean that Democrats have a pretty good chance at retaking the Senate during the midterms, when the president's party usually loses some seats in Congress.
Republicans presently have a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, and despite the vocal protests by Democrats and others, a simple majority vote is likely for the next justice.
Collins spoke on ABC and CNN.