I 'probably won't' ask Supreme Court nominees about Roe v. Wade

"They're all saying, don't do that, you don't do that, you shouldn't do that".

"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 has said he is focusing on up to seven potential candidates, including two women, to fill the vacancy being left by Kennedy, a swing vote on the nine-member court. Kennedy announced his retirement last week.

One of the candidates in a short list of 25 potential nominees announced by Trump during his campaign included Judge Amul Thapar, who is now a federal judge in Kentucky.

"I think we do need a pro-life justice, and I've always been in favor of that", Paul responded.

But the eventual nominee already faces a hurdle: Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, and Sen.

If Sen. John McCain's aggressive brain cancer diagnosis keeps him from traveling, it would only take one GOP defection to potentially block the nomination.

Perhaps surprisingly, considering their general bent against women in power, many conservative groups are actually encouraging the president to choose a woman as the final nominee.

Nearly every Republican in the Senate, which will confirm the successful nominee, is expected to vote with Trump as a matter of course.

"I've got it narrowed to about five [candidates]", President Trump said, according to CNN. "Someone who tries to keep an open mind and perspective nominees like Brett Cavanaugh, Amy Barrett, Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman are people who have not specifically said they oppose Roe vs. Wade and their writings and their work show that they are very fair".

Sanders wouldn't provide the names of the candidates who met with Trump or the two to three candidates expected to meet with the president later this week. "If you have somebody who has a record, for instance William Pryor, that it was an abomination, Roe v. Wade, that's clearly going to set off alarm bells", Wallace said.

But she emphasized that they had to talk about precedent.

With Kennedy gone, many people are predicting that Roe v. Wade could be overturned.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, one of only two Republican senators who supports abortion rights, told ABC's This Week she's looking for a nominee who would demonstrate a respect for precedent and that she sees Roe as settled law.

"A number of judges (have told me) that good judges are always unhappy with some of their decisions but they make the right call regardless of their personal views".

Such a judge, she said, "would not be acceptable to me because that would indicate an activist agenda".

  • Joey Payne