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

GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate confirms Mallory to lead White House environment council | US emissions dropped 1.7 percent in 2019 | Interior further delays Trump rule that would make drillers pay less to feds Anti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle On The Money: Senate confirms Gensler to lead SEC | Senate GOP to face off over earmarks next week | Top Republican on House tax panel to retire 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 mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Biden picks Obama alum for No. 2 spot at Interior Biden outreach on infrastructure met with Republican skepticism 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 ManchinJoe ManchinHouse committee approves DC statehood bill Romney, Sinema teaming up on proposal to raise minimum wage The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden defends Afghanistan withdrawal after pushback MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampBill Maher blasts removal of journalist at Teen Vogue Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives Harrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEverybody wants Joe Manchin Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big 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."