Key GOP senator: I won’t support any Supreme Court nominee that has shown ‘hostility’ to Roe v. Wade

Key GOP senator: I won’t support any Supreme Court nominee that has shown ‘hostility’ to Roe v. Wade
© Greg Nash

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Wednesday reiterated that she would not vote for any Supreme Court nominee chosen by President Trump if they have “demonstrated hostility” to Roe v. Wade. 

“I think I’ve made it pretty clear that if a nominee has demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade and has said that they are not going to abide by that long-standing precedent, that I could not support that nominee,” Collins told MSNBC. 

But Collins added that she could not yet take a position on any nominee, as “we don’t even know who the nominee is.” 

“I’m amazed that people on both sides of the aisle have already committed to voting either for or against a nominee whose identity they do not know,” Collins said.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced last week that he would retire, opening up a spot on the bench for Trump to nominate his second conservative justice.

Kennedy has been a swing vote on the bench for more than three decades. Kennedy was key in siding with liberal justices to support Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide.

Anti-abortion groups hope the Supreme Court will revisit Roe v. Wade within the next few years.

Collins — who is expected to be a key vote in the confirmation battle — said Sunday on CNN that she would not support a nominee who has demonstrated “hostility” to the landmark abortion rights case “because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law.” 

Abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America on Tuesday announced its first ad buy targeting Collins. 

The print and online ads state: "Trump has been loud and clear in saying he'd pick Supreme Court Justices to end Roe v. Wade. We believe him. Don't you, Senator Collins?"

Collins added on Wednesday that if a nominee is very strongly for Roe v. Wade "but lacks the qualification, the experience, the integrity, [or] has ethical issues in the background," she would not vote for him or her. "I’m not going to vote for that person just because they’re for Roe v. Wade," she said.