Collins reportedly wants the president to tack on some additional jurists to his list of 25 potential new justices. Susan Collins, Nelson noted, says she will not support a nominee who does not fully recognize the importance of judicial precedence, and "Roe v. Wade has been judicial precedent now going on 40 years".
US President Donald Trump has appointed an Indian-American official, Raj Shah, to a key role in the contentious process of the appointment of the next justice of the Supreme Court, the White House announced on Monday.
A controversial issue overwhelming the debate on the appointment of Kennedy's successor is abortion, which was legalised by a Supreme Court decision in 1973 and may come up again before the court.
Similarly, Justice Neil Gorsuch, who Trump nominated to the Court past year, is widely seen as a pro-life conservative.
And it said a team of lawyers from the White House and Department of Justice are gathering information to assist Trump with the process.
"A candidate for this important position who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me", Collins said.
"I think he's absolutely brilliant, with the right temperament", McConnell said Saturday, but added that he had no idea whom Trump will pick. Collins said she would only back a judge who would show respect for settled law such as the Roe decision, which has always been anathema to conservatives. On most issues, she votes in line with her party. "If chosen as the nominee, she will be the deciding vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and to strike down preexisting conditions protections in the ACA". And I would tell my pro-life friends, you can be pro-life and conservative, but you can also believe in stare decisis [letting legal precedent stand].
Collins and even several Democrats agreed to back Gorsuch because they said he clearly valued legal precedent and the independence of USA courts.
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, appearing separately on "State of the Union", urged Collins to be skeptical of a nominee's claims to support precedent, noting that Gorsuch joined his four conservative colleagues on the court to overturn precedent in last week's ruling in a labor union case, Janus v. AFSCME.