Trump says his U.S. Supreme Court pick will be 'outstanding'

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"Someone who devotes that much time to writing a book on precedent, I think understands how important a principle that is in our judicial system", Collins said.

Trump's initial short list of 25 names of potential nominees was largely handpicked by The Federalist Society, an influential group of conservative lawyers.

Hume said if Trump loses the support of Collins and Murkowski "it's hard to believe" the Republicans would "pick up any Democrats" to achieve a majority confirming the nominee.

"Well, I hope they keep thinking about it", Trump said of Democrats like Sen.

"I want a judge that will apply the law to the facts of the case with fidelity to the Constitution", she said "Roe v. Wade is a constitutional right that is well-established, and no less an authority than Justice Roberts said that repeatedly at his confirmation hearing".

Meanwhile, the Senate's top Democrat tried Monday to rally public opposition to any Supreme Court pick who'd oppose abortion rights, issuing a striking campaign season call for voters to prevent such a nominee by putting "pressure on the Senate".

Collins spoke on ABC and CNN.

"In the morning I interviewed and met with four potential justices of our great Supreme Court".

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Trump's ability to replace Kennedy - known as a moderate voice on the Supreme Court - with a more conservative justice has led many to speculate that Roe v. Wade's days as settled law could be numbered.

Front-runners, according to two people familiar with the process, include D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh, 7th Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and Thomas Hardiman, who was a finalist to be Trump's first high court appointee as well as a fellow judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals with Trump's sister, Maryanne Trump Barry.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME, an abortion rights supporter, is considered one of the key votes on a nominee.

In a fast-acting move meant to position the GOP for the midterm elections, President Donald Trump announced that he will unveil his new Supreme Court justice pick on July 9 - less than two weeks after Justice Anthony Kennedy unveiled his plans to retire. And I would tell my pro-life friends, you can be pro-life and conservative, but you can also believe in stare decisis [letting legal precedent stand].

In an attempt to remind Collins of how high the stakes are, women have started sending wire coat hangers to her office to serve as a visceral reminder of what happens when abortion is illegal.

Over the weekend, President Trump told Fox News he would "probably not" ask his nominee about how they would vote on the abortion law.

"They're going to get beaten so badly", Trump said.