Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – A national article is pitching a Utah Supreme Court Justice as the best fit to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Justice Thomas Lee is on the short list President Elect, Donald Trump released during the campaign.
Hannah C. Smith was a student of Lee’s at BYU, she rolled out three reasons Trump should go with him in an article published in the National Review.
One, she argues it would reward voters who viewed the Supreme Court as the most important issue for them, because Lee is most like late Justice, Antonin Scalia.
Two, it would mend divides within the Republican Party.
Three, it would make history with the first Mormon on the Supreme Court.
Local Attorney, Michelle Quist Mumford is also a former student of Lee.
She agrees it would send a strong signal to conservatives who struggle with Trump.
“He’s willing to really think through the issue and dissent when there needs to be dissent, he sticks to the Constitution, he’s helped even shape the argument or the conversation about originalism itself,” said Quist Mumford.
But, she doesn’t think it’s a smart strategy to tie Lee to Scalia.
She says it puts democrats on the defense.
“We don’t need to compare him to Scalia, and put up that wall and make a defense already, because he’s a great candidate in and of himself.”
And she down plays the historical value of having the first Mormon on the high court.
She says it’s far more significant Lee is a westerner.
“He’s from the West, he knows the issues out here, he knows the people out here and he comes from that frame of mind. And if you are speaking about diversity on the court, then you need somebody from the West,” said Quist Mumford.
Thomas Lee’s brother, Utah Senator, Mike Lee is also on the short list.
Senator Lee has been an outspoken critic of Trump.