Sen. Mike Lee ‘Would Not Say No’ to Supreme Court Nomination

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and retiring Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy.
Justin Sullivan, Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) said Wednesday he would consider serving on the U.S. Supreme Court if nominated by President Donald Trump.

“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 told reporters on Capitol Hill following the announcement of Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. “But the president’s got a decision to make and I trust his ability to make it and make it well.”

Kennedy informed President Donald Trump in a letter on Wednesday that he intends to retire from the Court effective July 31, 2018.

Appearing on Fox News shortly after the announcement, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) told host Dana Perino that Lee should replace Justice Kennedy.

President Trump already has a list of 25 candidates — 24 judges and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) — from which the White House has previously said he would choose a nominee.

Prominent on that list are Judges Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania and William Pryor of Alabama, seriously considered for the seat eventually filled by Justice Neil Gorsuch, and Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who serves on the federal appeals court in Washington, DC.

Regardless of who replaces him, Kennedy’s departure will be a massive change for the high court, where he has been the crucial swing vote for more than a decade.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.