Mike Lee open to being nominated to Supreme Court

Mike Lee open to being nominated to Supreme Court
© Greg Nash

Utah Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' The 8 Republicans who voted to curb Trump's Iran war powers MORE (R) said in an interview Wednesday that he "would not say no" if he was asked by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE to serve on the Supreme Court as Justice Anthony Kennedy's replacement.

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"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," he told reporters on what he would say if Trump asked him to serve.

"But the president’s got a decision to make and I trust his ability to make it and make it well," he added.

 

Lee is one of 21 names on the White House's shortlist of potential Supreme Court nominees, which was released last year before Trump's selection of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Court.

The Utah conservative made similar comments last year, telling a radio show that he was "very grateful" to have won reelection to the Senate but acknowledging his judicial ambitions.

"If he asked me that question, I would not say no," Lee said last January.

"[But] the shortlist is 21 people long," he cautioned. "Presidents these days do very much tend to prefer putting a sitting jurist on the Supreme Court."

Lee's comments came after Kennedy announced Wednesday that he would be retiring from the court.

Kennedy called his service on the nation's highest court "the greatest honor and privilege" of his career. A Reagan nominee, he was a critical swing vote on many issues, including abortion, guns and gay rights.