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

GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGrassley: No reason to delay Kavanaugh hearing Dem senators back Kavanaugh accuser's call for FBI investigation CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Ford: ‘Mr. President, refer to her by her name’ 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 MurkowskiProgressive group targets Collins, Murkowski after Kavanaugh allegation Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas GOP can't sweep Kavanaugh bombshell under the rug 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) ManchinThe Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world Kavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world Kavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyThe Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world Kavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday 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."