"But I think it's going to go actually very quickly if I pick the right person".
Collins noted that she isn't "comfortable" with everyone on Trump's shortlist to replace Kennedy, noting that in 2005 she voted against confirming one of them, Judge William Pryor, to the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Collins said that Democrats' desire to delay the vote for Justice Kennedy's replacement "goes back to the hypocrisies" of the Democrats, pointing out that Justice Elena Kagan was confirmed to the high court in 2010, a midterm election year.
Without naming names, Collins said there are people on the original conservative list of 25 she "could not support, because I believe that they have demonstrated a disrespect for the vital principle of stare decisis, which as Chief Justice Roberts has said is a fundamental principle of our judicial system that promotes even-handedness and stability". "It has been described as a constitutional right for 45 years and was reaffirmed 26 years ago".
"As president I mean obviously outside of war and peace - the biggest decision you can make is the selection of a Supreme Court justice", Trump said.
With Republicans holding only a 51-49 majority in the Senate, Trump's next Supreme Court pick has a narrow path toward confirmation, making the votes of moderates like Collins and U.S. Sen.
"[Trump] did tell me that he would not be asking that question", Collins said Sunday. "I had a very long discussion with Justice Gorsuch at his office, and he pointed out that he is the author of a book on precedent".
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"Well, if we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that's really what's going to be - that will happen", Trump said during the final debate of the 2016 presidential election. I have voted against judges and I have voted for them.
Collins said she suggested he add some names, and that the White House counsel told her some names have been added.