Donald Trump 'probably' won't question Supreme Court candidates on abortion

In Supreme Court pick, Trump can push conservative social agenda

In Supreme Court pick, Trump can push conservative social agenda

The Republican senator, a supporter of abortion rights, said Roe v. Wade is settled law that has been established as a constitutional right.

Collins is among small group of USA senators whose support is seen as crucial to securing the confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice following the retirement announcement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. She said she wouldn't vote for someone who would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins says she wouldn't support a Supreme Court nominee hostile to abortion rights. Trump spent the weekend at his New Jersey golf club conferring with his advisers, including White House counsel Don McGahn, as he considers his options to fill the vacancy that might make precedent-shattering court decisions on abortion, health care, gay marriage and other issues.

After he won the election, Trump continued to say the judges he would appoint would be "pro-life" judges and that if Roe was overturned, the question of abortion would be settled by individual states. On Friday, he told reporters that short list had been further pared down to five candidates.

Collins, from ME, has said she considers the most important factor for a Supreme Court nominee to be "respect for precedent".

"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.

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She added that there were people on Trump's initial list that she could not support.Republicans control the Senate, which must confirm any nominee, by a 51-49 majority, making the views of moderates such as Collins, and some Democrats, crucial to assembling the 51 votes needed for confirmation.

While campaigning in 2016, then-candidate Trump indicated he would select a nominee who expressed willingness to overturn Roe v Wade. Anti-abortion conservatives, mostly Republicans, have long opposed the ruling. Also of interest are Amul Thapar, who serves on the federal appeals court in Cincinnati; Brett Kavanaugh, a former clerk for Kennedy who serves on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.; and Amy Coney Barrett, who serves on the federal appeals court in Chicago.

In a separate interview on the same program, Illinois Democratic Sen. "I would tell my pro-life friends: You can be pro-life and conservative, but you can also believe in 'stare decisis, '" he said, citing the legal term involving legal precedent that means "to stand by things decided". "You don't overturn precedent unless there's a good reason", Graham said.

Collins and Republican Sen. Though McCain has often defied Trump, he has been absent from Congress all year as he undergoes treatment for an aggressive brain cancer. He said the confirmation process with Senate Democrats "is probably going to be vicious". Vice President Mike Pence can be called on to break a tie.

On Sunday, Trump seemed to reaffirm that belief, telling Fox News that abortion "could very well end up with states at some point".

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