Cruz Pitches Mike Lee as Justice Kennedy’s Replacement on Supreme Court

Howard TerryJul 06, 2018

Trump past year appointed conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch to take a seat that the Republican-led U.S. Senate, which must confirm nominees to the high court, had prevented Democratic former President Barack Obama from filling in 2016 following the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Collins said Sunday during a television interview that she won't support a nominee who has "demonstrated hostility" to Roe v. Wade because that would mean "their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law". He conducted interviews Monday and Tuesday. Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a friend and ally of the Utah senator, wrote an op-ed for Fox News on Thursday arguing that Lee should be the pick.

Partisan rancor has flamed since Kennedy announced last week that he would be retiring after more than three decades on the Supreme Court.

Mike Lee has a proven track record as a formidable advocate for the separation of powers, for federalism, for the Bill of Rights, and for a limited judicial role that adheres to originalism and textualism in judicial interpretation. He could still consider others in the mix.

As the President vets candidates who could become his next Supreme Court justice nominee, Trump's level of comfort with each candidate is a key factor, according to Axios.

The president spoke by phone with Republican Sen. Similarly, Gov. Earl Warren of California was best known both for his career in gubernatorial politics and serving as Thomas Dewey's vice presidential running mate on the 1948 Republican national ticket when he was tapped to be Chief Justice by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1953. He has yet to rule directly on abortion rights.

The ad draws attention to the selection of Gorsuch, widely hailed by conservatives as one of Trump's most important accomplishments. A former Kennedy clerk and Yale Law School graduate, Kavanaugh is favored by White House counsel Donald McGahn and is seen as the front-runner for the job.

And many Democrats remain salty over the Republican majority refusing to give Judge Garland, who sits on the circuit court in the District of Columbia, a hearing or a vote ahead of the 2016 election. Additionally, three Democrats - including Donnelly and Manchin - supported Barrett when Trump nominated her to the bench previous year. Some conservative groups have objected to Kavanaugh over a past ObamaCare ruling. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to support his potential nomination.

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