Thus far, the focus from both sides has been on whether Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, could be reversed. Long the favorite of Washington, D.C. legal conservatives, especially those who began their career in the Reagan administration.
And that is why these seats matter so much because - one of my favorite lines about the Supreme Court was by Justice Robert Jackson who served in the 1940s and '50s.
If Trump is able to appoint a crucial fifth anti-woman justice to the Supreme Court, the fate of safe abortions for millions of women across the country will be jeopardized.
"President Trump is just one appointment away from giving us a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court", Parker said in an interview on the radio program Wallbuilders Live.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has committed to confirming a nominee in the fall, which the Republican-controlled Senate should be able to do if McConnell can hold his razor-thin majority together.
Kennedy's replacement could cast a deciding vote on limiting or ending the right to abortion.
Trump said he planned to interview one or two candidates this weekend at his private golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.More news: Indonesia Shuts Bali Airport As Mount Agung Becomes Active Again
The other senator who met with Trump, Republican Charles Grassley, is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which will consider any Trump choice.
"They're smart and tapped into the conservative legal community", he said. Collins wasted no time following Kennedy's announcement to reiterate that she believes Roe v. Wade is "settled law", but a spokeswoman told the Portland Press Herald that Collins "does not apply ideological litmus tests to nominees".
Steven Law, president of the Senate Leadership Fund, a campaign group aligned with McConnell, said the group is running digital ads in 10 states that Trump won in 2016 where Democratic senators are now up for re-election. "He said he'd like the job", Trump said.
White House Counsel Don McGahn will be Trump's lead adviser on the pick, having successfully guided the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch through the selection and confirmation process a year ago, White House sources said.
For Republicans' part, they need to balance actively campaigning against the trio in 2018, while courting their votes for the Supreme Court nominee.
The Democrats - Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of IN and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota - are running for re-election IN November IN states Trump won IN 2016.
"I think sometimes we talk about Supreme Court too much in abstractions, about dignity and who is qualified and who is not".