Abortion Rights Group Targets Sen. Susan Collins in SCOTUS Fight

Frederick Owens
July 4, 2018

Trump has said he is focusing on up to seven potential candidates, including two women, to fill the vacancy created by Kennedy, a swing vote on the nine-member court.

"I'll be meeting with two or three more, and we'll make a decision on the United States Supreme Court - the new justice - that'll be made over the next few days and we'll be announcing it on Monday", he said.

President Donald Trump has met with four contenders for the Supreme Court nomination, including one woman and one Indian-American judge, and may be adding a second woman to his consideration list.

The president interviewed four candidates on Monday and has said he plans to reveal his choice on July 9.

Collins said she and fellow Republican Sen. Susan Collins are moderate Republicans who support access to abortion services.

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.

Collins and even several Democrats agreed to back Gorsuch because they said he clearly valued legal precedent and the independence of USA courts.

In fact, in 2017, Neil Gorsuch - Trump's first Supreme Court pick who now sits on the court - said he would have "walked out the door" had Trump asked him to overturn Roe v. Wade because "that's not what judges do".

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The Senate would have to confirm the nominee.

Abortion rights activists fear Trump's eventual nominee will lead to the high court overturning Roe v. Wade.

Justin Clark, in his position as director of the Office of Public Liaison, will oversee outreach with key constituencies, coalitions, grass-roots organizations and allies, the White House said.

Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate, and it's even closer because of the absence of ailing Sen.

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. That judicial approach typically involves a more literal interpretation of the Constitution as compared to broader rulings such as Roe.

She also served as deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel, and clerked for David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and for former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in the U.S. Supreme Court.

But she is pro-choice and previously showed a willingness to go against the party, particularly in her vote against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act a year ago. Vice President Mike Pence can be called on to break a tie.

And in an interview with CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, Collins went a step further, stating she would not back a justice who wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

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