It’s looking like a long, hot summer for Sen. Susan Collins, the famously moderate Maine Republican who represents the Democratic Party’s best hope for a defection on President Trump’s pivotal Supreme Court nomination.
Ms. Collins, who holds a key vote on the historic court selection, has so far resisted pressure from the left to oppose automatically any Trump pick or push to delay the confirmation process until after the November election.
Instead, she said Sunday she wanted to see a candidate who would “respect precedent,” which would rule out nominees bent on overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.
“I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law,” Ms. Collins said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
She was encouraged by her Thursday meeting with Mr. Trump, saying he solicited her views on nominees; assured her he would not ask candidates their position on Roe, and added five candidates to the initial list of 25.
“The president listened very intently to what [Sen.] Lisa Murkowski and I said. And I got the feeling that he was still deliberating and had not yet reached a decision and that this was genuine outreach on his part,” said Ms. Collins on ABC’s “This Week.”
Her measured response only inflamed leftists demanding that she oppose any Trump pick, arguing that the president will only replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy with a jurist hostile to Roe no matter what she may have been told by the White House.
Already, activists have launched a campaign to mail coat hangers to Ms. Collins and Ms. Murkowski of Alaska, the only two pro-choice Republicans in the 51-49 Senate. Both their votes would be needed to defeat the still-unnamed nominee.
The leftist group Indivisible announced “10 days of action,” urging activists to target eight senators, including Ms. Collins and Ms. Murkowski, and “flood their offices” with comments....“Keep the pressure on: @SenatorCollins is one of a handful of swing voters who will decide the fate of @RealDonaldTrump’s #SCOTUS pick,” tweeted the Democratic Coalition, which bills itself as the nation’s “largest grassroots Resistance organization.”Mr. Trump plans to announce his selection July 9, telling reporters Friday that he has narrowed his search to about five candidates, including two women, and that the confirmation process with Senate Democrats “is probably going to be vicious.”“We’ve got great people,” Mr. Trump said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” “It is exciting. Outside of war and peace, of course, the most important decision you make is the selection of a Supreme Court judge, if you get it. As you know, there are many presidents who never get a choice.”Mr. Trump said Sunday he would “probably not” question nominees on their stance on the landmark decision legalizing abortion nationwide, although Ms. Collins described him as more emphatic in