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 CruzCNN town halls put network at center of Dem primary The Memo: Trump can't let go of McCain grudge Michael Bennet is close to deciding on possible presidential bid MORE (R-Texas) on Wednesday touted his Republican colleague Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeStop asking parents to sacrifice Social Security benefits for paid family leave The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over New Zealand coverage GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers 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 TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report 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 McConnellConservatives wage assault on Mueller report Overnight Energy: Interior reverses decision at heart of Zinke criminal probe | Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change | GM to add 400 workers to build electric cars Trump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' 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.