Dem senator says Supreme Court vote could be 'career ending' for lawmakers

Dem senator says Supreme Court vote could be 'career ending' for lawmakers

Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellPartisan politics at independent agency draws bipartisan rebuke Senators share their fascination with sharks at hearing Poll: Majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade MORE (D-Wash.) on Sunday said her colleagues' votes on President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE's Supreme Court nominee could be a "career-ending move." 

“I think that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle know that this vote could be one of the key votes of their entire career,” Cantwell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And they know that no matter what spin comes out of the White House, if they vote for somebody who’s going to change precedent, it could be a career-ending move."

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Cantwell's speculation comes days after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the bench at the end of next month. His retirement opens up an opportunity for Trump to nominate his second justice to the bench, potentially redefining the nation's highest court for generations to come.

“We’re a 51-49 Senate and if [Trump] wants to throw an extreme conservative who basically says, ‘I’m not going to follow precedent, I’m not going to follow these laws,’ then yes, that to me is a major change,” Cantwell said.

Cantwell expressed concern that Trump’s nominee would overturn the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that paved the way for legalized abortion nationwide.

“You’re not just voting on if you think Trump should have his nominee,” Cantwell said. “You’re voting on whether that nominee is going to change precedent when it comes to a whole host of issues — a woman’s right to choose, your access to health care.”

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsKavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday McConnell told Trump criticism of Kavanaugh accuser isn't helpful: report Dems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage MORE (R-Maine), who will be a key vote in confirming Trump’s nominee, also said she would not green light a nominee who came out against Roe v. Wade.

“A candidate for this important position who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me because that would indicate an activist agenda that I don’t want to see a judge have, and that would indicate to me a failure to respect precedent,” Collins said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”