Sen. Collins: 'I Will Not Support Nominee Hostile to Roe v. Wade'

Frederick Owens
July 6, 2018

Trump's choice to replace Kennedy - a swing vote on the nine-member court - has the potential to remake the court for a generation as part of precedent-shattering decisions on abortion, health care, gay marriage and other issues.

Kavanaugh, 53, is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit who has a background in politics. Both Kethledge and Gorsuch once served Kennedy as law clerks, as did Kavanaugh. Along with the top three, he interviewed this week federal appeals judges Amul Thapar, Thomas Hardiman and Joan Larsen. Kethledge, a Michigan Law graduate, would add academic diversity to a court steeped in the Ivy League. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.) and has written several notable opinions blasting President Barack Obama's IRS and Labor Department. Barrett, who is a devout Catholic, is popular among social conservatives but is said not to be atop Trump's shortlist because of her relative inexperience on the bench. Yet her religious beliefs could lead to a contentious confirmation process.

To counter that, Kavanaugh's allies have begun pushing back, reaching out to influential Republicans to ward off potential criticisms, according to one conservative who was the recipient of such outreach and spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday to discuss the situation. The junior senator from Texas has thrown his endorsement to Sen. He told Fox News last week, "My understanding is that that is what the Senate rules allow and you're still a senator until you're no longer a senator". Mike Lee is also in the running and has reportedly spoken with Trump.

"Judge Kethledge uses this sound approach to judging - the same approach used by Justices Antonin Scalia and Neil Gorsuch - in every case that comes before him", Meyers wrote in a piece for National Review. The call, though, lasted less than five minutes.

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"Judge Kethledge has a history of opposing women's reproductive freedom", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted on Thursday. 2, which would have shuttered most abortion clinics in the state. The campaign will invest heavily in the ME and Alaska markets to stoke the mounting pressure on Collins and Murkowski to vote against the nominee.

"Sen. Lee has the respect and admiration of his colleagues, Republicans and Democrats alike", Cruz wrote. Activists this week are sending coat hangers to her congressional office in a symbolic message about the legacy of anti-abortion policies and court decisions like Roe v. Wade.

"When the president has made up his mind, he wants to go", the aide said.

Kennedy, who has served on the Supreme Court since 1988, has always been recognized as the institution's lone swing vote preventing either the conservative or liberal factions from becoming ascendant. If the nominee won't answer those questions, she said, "I urge (the senators) to conclude (the nominee) is not qualified to take this position".

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