WASHINGTON (News4Utah) – Some colleagues of Utah Senator Mike Lee aren’t giving up on him getting the nomination for the Supreme Court vacancy.
President Trump is set to announce his pick to replace outgoing Justice Anthony Kennedy on Monday.
Senator Lee has been in the mix, but he reportedly is no longer in the running.
Some of his closest friends in the Senate are saying not so fast.
“We are seeing a lot of people who are closest with him coming to his side, saying he’d be the best pick for the United States Supreme Court. And, they are being public about it. They are even going straight to the White House,” said Jason Perry, Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics.
That includes Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
In an opinion piece for Fox News, Cruz says:
“Sen. Lee, R-Utah, was made for this moment. No other candidate has his combination of record, ability, and a sure-fire path to confirmation – and no other candidate would excite conservative voters this November more than someone they know and trust, like Mike Lee.”
Perry explains why Lee is an attractive choice to conservatives.
“You know what you are going to get time after time. He doesn’t move on those principles, and for those who want a conservative on the court he is one that will stand the test of time.”
Perry says we shouldn’t completely rule Lee out.
“One thing we all know from watching the Trump Administration is no one is ever out until they are really out.”
But, he says some of Lee’s previous stances against the president could cost him the seat on the bench.
“I have not seen President Trump forget about these kinds of things and Mike Lee was a protest vote at the convention. We’ll see how that plays out, we have not seen that play out really well for others who were in a similar position in the state.”
Senator Lee has expressed interest in the position, but he is not publicly commenting on the selection process.