President Trump to name second Supreme Court nominee in 2 years

Howard TerryJul 04, 2018

Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to oppose any candidate that would threaten to overturn Roe V. Wade.

Kennedy is a conservative but has at times sided with the liberals on the court in key decisions, including decisions on the death penalty, abortion, and same-sex marriage.

However, the senator later said she would be looking to precedent in her vote on Supreme Court nominees, suggesting Roe v. Wade would have an impact on her decision. But he wouldn't necessarily have to. Roe, for instance, relied on a right to privacy, which is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution.

During his 2016 campaign and presidency, Trump has embraced anti-abortion groups and vowed to appoint federal judges who will favor efforts to roll back abortion rights. Lee has been floated as a potential justice as well in the conservative press.

The future orientation of the Supreme Court depends on who will succeed Kennedy, a conservative.

All eyes are on Sens. "We believe him. For the sake of women in ME, and across the country, we hope Senator Collins does too", NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said in a statement.

"A candidate who would overturn Roe would not be acceptable", said Collins, "because I believe that they have demonstrated a disrespect for the vital principle of stare decisis".

But it's unlikely that any candidate would openly declare hostility to a past court ruling. Gorsuch, the first Supreme Court pick that Trump was able to get confirmed, is seen as sharing former Associate Justice Antonin Scalia's view "that Roe v. Wade and its successor Planned Parenthood v. Casey were incorrectly decided and should be overturned", according to Kate Shaw, an ABC News contributor and a Cardozo School of Law professor who was interviewed about the issue in 2017.

NARAL and other pro-choice groups are demanding that Collins recognize the danger of confirming a nominee who, like Judge William Pryor, has called Roe vs. Wade "the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history" or Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has called it an "erroneous decision". It's likely the next nominee will sidestep the matter in a similar way. He will make the announcement next Monday. And with the Senate's 51-49 split, the final vote could still be a nail biter. Murkowski could have a lot of power in the upcoming vote. (McCain isn't afraid to buck his own party, but he is mostly in line with his party in opposing abortion rights).

Adding to the worries of those who support abortion access, Collins's spokesman has previously said that the senator "does not apply ideological litmus tests to nominees" when asked whether she would take a nominee's stance on Roe v. Wade into account. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of IN and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Nelson opposed Gorsuch a year ago, but he remained on the fence almost two months before making that decision.

The White House does not appear to be counting on Nelson's support and instead is focusing on three other vulnerable Democrats facing re-election: Sen.

"These people weren't even talked to when they were put on the list", said Leo.

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