Cruz: Mike Lee best choice to fill Supreme Court vacancy

Cruz: Mike Lee best choice to fill Supreme Court vacancy
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll shows competitive matchup if O’Rourke ran for Senate again Democrats veer left as Trump cements hold on Republicans O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation MORE (R-Texas) on Wednesday touted his Republican colleague Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Push for paid family leave heats up ahead of 2020 New act can help us grapple with portion of exploding national debt MORE (Utah) as the "best choice" to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement announcement.

"I think the single best choice President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE could make to fill this vacancy is Sen. Mike Lee," Cruz said on Fox News shortly after Kennedy's announcement. "I think he would be extraordinary."

Lee, who, like Cruz, sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters on Wednesday that he would not "say no" if Trump asked him to succeed Kennedy on the bench.

"I started watching Supreme Court arguments for fun when I was 10 years old. So if somebody asked me if I would consider that, I would not say no," Lee said. "But the president’s got a decision to make and I trust his ability to make it and make it well." 

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The Utah Republican is on the list of 25 candidates that the White House published in November to potentially be nominated to the Supreme Court.

It will be Trump's second nomination since taking office, after he appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch to the bench last year months after being elected.

Cruz said that part of his reasoning for supporting Lee is because he knows that Lee would continue to advocate for conservative positions.

"About half of the nominees that Republican presidents have put on the court have turned into train wrecks, have turned into liberal activists," Cruz said. "I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mike Lee would be faithful to the Constitution and Bill of Rights." 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Green New Deal Resolution invites big picture governing ‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire MORE (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that the Senate would vote on a new nominee for the Supreme Court in the fall. But many Democratic lawmakers slammed that statement as hypocritical and urged the GOP leader to wait until after the November midterm elections to hold hearings.