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

GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds GOP senators say only a few Republicans will vote to convict Trump For Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief 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 MurkowskiTrump impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8 Murkowski didn't vote for Trump, won't join Democrats Trump impeachment article being sent to Senate Monday 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: Biden EPA asks Justice Dept. to pause defense of Trump-era rules | Company appeals rejection of Pebble Mine | Energy pick Granholm to get hearing Wednesday Nomination hearing for Biden Energy pick Granholm set for Wednesday Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampHarrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment Biden to tap Vilsack for Agriculture secretary: reports OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA guidance may exempt some water polluters from Supreme Court permit mandate | Vilsack's stock rises with Team Biden | Arctic wildfires linked to warming temperatures: NOAA MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Showdown: Trump-Biden debate likely to be nasty 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."