SUPREME SHOWDOWN: Trump Creates CONFIRMATION Team as the Left Vows to Fight

Riccardo Savi  Sipa via USA TODAY

With a week left before President Trump is set to announce his pick to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, those opposing the nomination are seeking to mobilize.

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.

President Trump will announce his nominee for the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice this Monday and already outside groups from both sides of the political aisle are committing millions of dollars in advertisements surrounding what is expected to be a lengthy and rancorous confirmation battle.

Murkowski and Maine Sen.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME, an abortion rights supporter, is considered one of the key votes on a nominee.

" one Twitter user wrote, sharing a picture of a coat hanger, while another added: "Nobody should trust what Collins says".

If there is a danger of losing Republican votes, the nominee could prevail by courting Democratic senators seeking re-election this year in states Trump carried in 2016, including Sens.

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Trump has said he will pick a nominee by July 9 from a list of 25 judges.

Even though Republicans changed Senate rules a year ago to allow confirmation by simple majority, if Democrats hold together, they can not afford defections.

Collins also said Sunday that she has urged the president to expand his list of potential nominees, as there are a number of people on the list she believes do not respect judicial precedent.

Kavanaugh then served in the George W Bush White House, organizing the effort to fill federal court vacancies with conservative judges. And Justin Clark, the director of the Office of Public Liaison, will oversee White House coordination with outside groups. He said Friday that he was focusing on five to seven candidates whom he planned to interview this week.

Trump will probably not need to ask potential nominees about their views on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion. That judicial approach typically involves a more literal interpretation of the Constitution, and not reading into the Constitution language that doesn't explicitly appear. Also of interest are Amul Thapar, who serves on the federal appeals court in Cincinnati; Brett Kavanaugh, a former clerk for Kennedy who serves on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.; and Amy Coney Barrett, who serves on the federal appeals court in Chicago.

Pro-choice activists are reportedly sending Sen. Vice President Mike Pence can break a tie.

And in an interview with CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, Collins went a step further, stating she would not back a justice who wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

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