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 LeeReexamining presidential power over national monuments Utah group complains Mia Love should face criminal penalties for improper fundraising Senate approves 4B spending bill MORE (R) said in an interview Wednesday that he "would not say no" if he was asked by President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate 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.