On Wednesday the Republican Senator Susan Collins said that she was looking for judges who "respected precedent."
This came after the retirement of US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who in 1992 acted as a crucial vote on the right for women to have legal abortions in the United States.
His retirement has reignited this debate, with some fearing that Republicans may attempt to fight the law, also known as 'Roe v. Wade.'
Collins, who represents the state of Maine, is quoted by The Hill as saying:
I view Roe v. Wade as being settled law.
It’s clearly precedent and I always look for judges who respect precedent.
Collins, as well as Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), are already being touted as potential early swing votes on Trump's future nominee, who many fear may be willing to overturn the law.
Murkowski has already said in a Twitter statement that her standards will be "extremely high" when choosing Kennedy's successor and that she will "carefully scrutinise" their qualifications.
My statement on Justice Kennedy announcing his retirement: https://t.co/svr3dbWUi6
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@Sen. Lisa Murkowski)
Speaking to the Portland Press Herald, Collins' spokeswoman Annie Clark, said:
When Senator Collins evaluates judges, she always looks at their judicial temperament; qualifications; experience; and respect for precedent, the rule of law, and the Constitution.
These are exactly the same criteria she applied when she evaluated President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees, President Obama’s nominees, and President Trump’s most recent nominee.
Senator Collins does not apply ideological litmus tests to nominees.
In light of this, people are already pushing the two senators to vote against a nominee that would be considered too conservative on abortion.
Collins, who is considered to be the most moderate member of the Republican Senate, is now being sent wire clothes hangers by people who want to protect abortion laws as a reminder of the more unpleasant ways that women had to deal with unwanted abortions in the past.
This appears to have been started by author June Casagrande who responded to a tweet from Topher Spiro about Collins, with a simple image of a hanger.
@TopherSpiro @SenatorCollins Collins's gift to women: https://t.co/YkgHoWHOTw