President Trump is on the hunt for a new Supreme Court pick as Justice Anthony Kennedy announced on Wednesday that he would be retiring at the end of July. With an upcoming vacant seat, the President will have a second opportunity to put another conservative in the Supreme Court as he did with Justice Neil Gorsuch. However, his next Supreme Court pick is causing quite a commotion as President Trump is hoping that with another conservative in the seat, the Supreme Court will vote to disband the famous Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.
Republican Senator Susan Collins from Maine will be a key vote on the President’s pick and when it comes to Roe v. Wade, according to CNN, she will not support any Supreme Court nominee who shares the President’s determination to overthrow the ruling, which would make abortion illegal in the U.S. once again. Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Sen. Collins spoke with Jake Tapper, telling the host exactly how she feels on the controversial subject.
“I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law.”
According to Collins, she met with President Trump and he presented her with a list of 25 names of potential nominees, all of which are conservative. “The President really was soliciting my views on the type of nominee that I was looking for,” Collins said. “I emphasized that I wanted a nominee who would respect precedent, a fundamental tenet of our judicial system,” she added.
In a landmark ruling in January 1973 the Supreme Court handed down its verdict that women would now have the right to make their own medical decisions without government interference, including the decision on whether or not to have an abortion.
Collins further stated that she is not under the impression that Justice Neil Gorsuch, who she helped to confirm into the Supreme Court last year, would be likely to vote for overturning the ruling.
“I actually don’t. I had a very long discussion with Justice Gorsuch in my office and he pointed out to me that he is a co-author of a whole book on precedent.”
Along with Justice Gorsuch, Collins also believes that Chief Justice John Roberts would also vote against getting rid of Roe v. Wade.
“I want a judge who will apply the law to the facts of the case with fidelity to the Constitution. Roe v. Wade is a constitutional right that is well established, and no less an authority than Chief Justice Roberts said that repeatedly at his confirmation hearing.”
Collins mentioned that President Trump reassured her that he would not ask potential nominee which way he or she would vote on the ruling. However, whether or not he will stick by that, remains to be seen.
During his campaign, President Trump did announce that he would use the landmark case “as a litmus test for Supreme Court choices.” While it should come to many as no surprise, Vice President Mike Pence is all for overturning Roe v. Wade as he has always been very outspoken about being anti-abortion and hopes to see the ruling in the “ash heap of history.”