Two NU alumnae on Trump's shortlist for Justice Kennedy replacement

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Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's swing vote, is retiring at the end of July.

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.

It's President Donald Trump's second year in the oval office and the second time he'll be naming a Supreme Court nominee.

After the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell changed Senate rules previous year, eliminating the filibuster of Supreme Court nominees and clearing the way for easy confirmation of Trump's first pick Justice Neil Gorsuch, Republicans feel emboldened.

Murkowski and Maine Sen. She said she would have an "in-depth discussion" with Trump's nominee to replace Kennedy.

More than 6 in 10 US voters, 63 percent, said in the Quinnipiac University Poll that they agreed with the decision, more than twice as much as the 31 percent who disagreed.

Sources say Collins specifically opposes federal Appeals Court Judge William Pryor, who once called Roe "an abomination".

Trump has explicitly vowed in the past to appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that affirmed abortion as a constitutional right, and his nominee following Kennedy's retirement will determine the majority of the high court for decades to come.

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"The burden of proof is on the nominee to prove that they will proactively protect Roe v. Wade and until they do no senator, and particularly no senators who consider themselves pro-choice, should vote for the nominee".

Trump said late last week he had narrowed his short list of candidates to five, including two women.

The Republicans' 51-to-49 majority in the Senate is even closer because of the absence of ailing Senator John McCain of Arizona.

"I can't imagine the president asking the nominee about Roe v. Wade or the nominee expressing a position of Roe vs. Wade privately or publicly", McConnell said. That judicial approach typically involves a more literal interpretation of the Constitution as compared to broader rulings such as Roe.

Collins, who has previously bucked party lines on other key issues such as health care, said she plans to have an in-depth conversation with the nominee.

She also served as deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel, and clerked for David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and for former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in the U.S. Supreme Court.

And if the votes result in a tie, Vice President Pence will hold the tie-breaking vote-and his anti-abortion stance is well-known.

While appearing on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, Collins framed hostility towards the Roe v. Wade outcome as a form of "activism" that disrespects judicial precedent.

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