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GOP Sen. Susan Collins says she won't back a SCOTUS nominee with 'hostility to Roe v. Wade'

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on CNN

President Trump has been "soliciting my views on the type of nominee that I was looking for," Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said on CNN Sunday of the process to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. "I emphasized that I wanted a nominee who would respect precedent, a fundamental tenet of our judicial system."

The specific issue of precedent where Collins — who with fellow moderate Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) is likely to be a deciding vote for this nomination — differs from the administration is on the question of Roe v. Wade. As a candidate, Trump said willingness to overturn the landmark abortion ruling would be a litmus test for his SCOTUS picks, but Sunday on Fox News, he said he would not ask potential nominees their views on the subject.

"I think what [Trump] said as the candidate may not have been informed by the legal advice that he now has, that it would be inappropriate for him to ask a nominee how he or she would rule on a specific issue," Collins told host Jake Tapper. "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."

Watch Collins' comments in context below. Bonnie Kristian