Collins voices skepticism that new Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade
© Greg Nash

GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOn The Money: Senate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump emergency declaration | Banks made billion in extra profits thanks to GOP tax law | IRS analyst charged with leaking Cohen's financial records Senate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration The Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down MORE (Maine) is voicing skepticism that the Supreme Court will overturn the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion regardless of who is confirmed to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

In an interview with "The Daily" podcast that was posted on Monday, Collins said she believes Chief Justice John Roberts could be a vote against overturning the ruling.

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She also said that she thinks Trump was wrong when he said during the presidential campaign that the landmark decision would be overturned if he's allowed to nominate individuals to the court.

"I think, for example, [Chief Justice] John Roberts given his respect for precedent and his cautious approach, despite what personal views he may hold, I would be very surprised if the chief justice would ever vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, just to give you an example," Collins said. 

Kennedy was the fifth vote in a 1992 decision reaffirming Roe v. Wade, which established the right to an abortion nationwide. His retirement, effective at the end of the month, has sparked fears that his replacement could lead the court to overrule the decision.
 
Collins, who is seen as a key swing vote in the Senate on Trump's next nominee to the court, acknowledged some nominees who have been floated have signaled they want to challenge the 1973 decision. 
 
"I'm not saying that just any conservative judge would reach the conclusion that I think is most likely. There are a couple of people who have been mentioned who have demonstrated hostility and an eagerness to overturn Roe v. Wade, so those individuals would not bring me the kinds of assurance I would be seeking," she said.
 
Collins did not specify which potential nominees she was referring to. Trump has said that he would select his Supreme Court nominees from a previously released list of 25 individuals. 
 
Collins has urged the White House to expand its search and said that the president told her to send over suggestions if she had them. 
 
"My hope is that we will be presented with a nominee that has a certain amount of humility and recognizes that it is not appropriate for the Supreme Court to overturn such a landmark decision," she told New York Times podcast "The Daily."
 
Collins and fellow GOP Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration GOP Sen. Collins says she'll back resolution to block Trump's emergency declaration The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times MORE (Alaska) are viewed as potential swing votes because they've broken with their party on previous health-care and abortion-related legislation, including opposing repealing the Affordable Care Act and a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks. 
 
The two met together with Trump at the White House on Thursday evening. Trump also met with red-state Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal Gabbard cites ‘concerns’ about ‘vagueness’ of Green New Deal MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (Ind.), who supported Justice Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination last year. 
 
Trump is expected to announce who he is picking to fill Kennedy's seat on July 9, the same day the Senate returns from the week-long July 4 recess. 
 
With Republicans holding a narrow 51-49 margin in the Senate, the support of Collins and Murkowski could be crucial to his nominee being confirmed. 
 
Collins added that "a lot ... of other criteria" beyond how a nominee views Roe v. Wade would go into her decision.
 
"I should also mention obviously if a nominee had demonstrated hostility toward Roe v. Wade in an official capacity that that would cause me great concern," she said. 
 
Pressed on whether skepticism of Roe v. Wade in legal rulings might be enough for her to vote against them, Collins added: "That's right."