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 LeeZuckerberg woos Washington critics during visit Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers to discuss 'future internet regulation' Hillicon Valley: Election security looms over funding talks | Antitrust enforcers in turf war | Facebook details new oversight board | Apple fights EU tax bill MORE (R) said in an interview Wednesday that he "would not say no" if he was asked by President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest 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.