President Trump has announced he will make his decision for the Supreme Court on July 9th.
The best choice he could possibly make is Senator Mike Lee of Utah.
All reports indicate that the President will be choosing from a list compiled by Leonard Leo with help from the Federalist Society. You know that if Mr. Leo is involved, the list is chock full of quality candidates that any conservative could get behind. The President is lucky to have so many great choices.
But few would be better than Senator Mike Lee.
Senator Lee obviously has all the credentials. He has the conservative record. He’s got the resume. He’s a known commodity. He’s been a conservative warrior in the U.S. Senate second to none. He most certainly deserves the seat.
But Lee is not only one of the most principled choices the President could make—nominating Lee is also smart politics.
Let’s begin with the potential Republican obstacles. Senator Susan Collins of Maine has been making the news show rounds telling everyone she plans to be a thorn in the President’s side on this. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is doing the same. Jeff Flake has promised he won’t be a problem, but do you trust him? Bob Corker falls in the same category. I’m also sure there are a couple of other liberal Republican senators hiding in the tall grass, eager to oppose the President’s nominee just out of spite.
The Republicans cannot lose one single vote on this confirmation. This is a 50-49 Senate.
I would dare any of these liberal Republican senators not to support one of their own. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Republican senators vote against another Republican senator for this position. If they take that route, these Republicans would expose themselves as being the reason behind President Trump and Congress having a sub-par legislative record. These Republicans vote no on everything. They vote with Democrats.
And even if some of these Republicans did oppose Lee—even just one—I think that boil needs to be lanced.
Republicans and the President need a win and it doesn’t get much bigger than the Supreme Court. The legislative agenda is completely stalled in Congress. Border wall funding, border security, repealing Obamacare, making the tax cuts permanent—take whatever issue you want—and congressional Republicans are just dogs chasing their own tails at this point.
There is a total stalemate on just about every issue, but the Supreme Court, this is where the action is going to be. This court selection is going to occupy the entire swamp of Washington, DC until this person is confirmed.
The confirmation hearing will be the Super Bowl of politics.
Nobody will be able to take the heat of this hearing like Sen. Mike Lee. He knows how to handle the pressure during a confirmation hearing because he himself has applied pressure during innumerable high-profile Senate hearings.
We should expect members of the Senate to prepare their most politically-charged line of questioning for the hearing to confirm the next Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. Sen. Mike Lee has proven to have the character to roll with the punches and gracefully handle the intensity of this event.
It should be noted that conservative excitement over the potential of having a solid conservative replace Anthony Kennedy is also saving Republican leadership’s lousy reputation at the moment, deflecting from the fact that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell stillcan’t get ANYTHING done. They’ve been completely useless to the President.
But Republicans can get Mike Lee confirmed –on their own—and they should.