President Trump must walk a fine line in selecting a Supreme Court justice as he pursues a route that will result in confirmation in the narrowly divided Senate ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, and Collins seems to enjoy the leverage her critical role in that process brings. He will have four steadfastly liberal justices on his left and likely four deeply conservative ones to his right, including a second justice appointed by President Donald Trump.
Trump is expected to announce his pick from the list, which now comprises over 25 judges from across the country, on July 9. What I want to see is a nominee who, regardless of his or her personal views on the very hard and contentious life issue, is going to respect precedent.
NARAL Pro-Choice is also running a full page ad in all major ME newspapers, and digital ads specifically targeting Collins.
Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump met with four people for 45 minutes each on Monday and will continue meetings through the rest of the week.
"She also said that it's a firm precedent".
Possible nominees being eyed include Thomas Hardiman, who serves alongside Trump's sister on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Raymond Kethledge, a federal appeals court judge who clerked for Kennedy. She is also a devout Catholic with seven children, and her religious beliefs came up in last year's confirmation hearing for her current post. Collins said she would back only nominees who would show respect for settled law such as the Roe decision.
Justin Clark, in his position as director of the Office of Public Liaison, will oversee outreach with key constituencies, coalitions, grass-roots organizations and allies, the White House said.
President Trump arrives in Fargo to cheers
On Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he is retiring - allowing Trump to appoint his second justice. Heitkamp showed off some moderate chops and sided with the White House on then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch.
The group is also launching ads following Trump's Monday announcement in Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia, states represented by three moderate Democratic senators that voted to confirm Gorsuch: Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin.
While not discussing many details of her private conversation with the president, Collins told Raddatz she "suggested that he broaden his search beyond the list of 25 nominees", referring to the president's "List of 25" from which he has pledged to pick the new justice. John McCain, R-Ariz., is out as he battles brain cancer.
Judge Kavanaugh sits on Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and is a former clerk to Justice Kennedy.
Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate, and it's even closer because of the absence of ailing Sen.