Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) will not support any candidate President Donald Trump nominates to fill a Supreme Court vacancy who is pro-life and would vote to overturn the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.
Collins explained her reasons why on Sunday during an interview on ABC's "This Week."
What did Collins say?
Collins, who fully supports abortion, said any justice who supports reversing Roe v. Wade is an "activist" justice who does not belong on the high court.
"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," she said.
Collins, a moderate Republican, claimed Roe v. Wade is "settled law" and emphasized her desire for the new Supreme Court justice to adhere to stare decisis, a legal doctrine that binds courts to precedent.
"I'm going to have an in-depth conversation with the nominee and I believe very much that Roe v. Wade is settled law as it has been described by Chief Justice [John] Roberts," Collins said. "It has been described as a constitutional right for 45 years and was reaffirmed 26 years ago."
"So a nominee's position on whether or not they respect precedent will tell me a lot about whether or not they would overturn Roe v. Wade," she explained.
During the same interview, Collins said there are individuals on President Donald Trump's shortlist who she would not support, citing their alleged "disrespect" for stare decisis. However, Collins did not specifically name who she would not support.
Trump has said he will announce his nominee on July 9.
Why are Collins' comments so important?
Because Republicans only have a one seat majority in the Senate, every vote counts. Trump will need every Republican on-board with his nominee, and some Democrats, if he wants his nominee to be confirmed to the Supreme Court sans "nuclear option."