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 CruzOn The Money: Conservative blocks disaster relief bill | Trade high on agenda as Trump heads to Japan | Boeing reportedly faces SEC probe over 737 Max | Study finds CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay Conservative blocks House passage of disaster relief bill The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan MORE (R-Texas) on Wednesday touted his Republican colleague Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOn The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump Hillicon Valley: Google delays cutting off Huawei | GOP senators split over breaking up big tech | Report finds DNC lagging behind RNC on cybersecurity 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 TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address 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 McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions What if 2020 election is disputed? Immigration bills move forward amid political upheaval 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.