The four GOP senators featured on President Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees if he wins a second term are responding to the news of being considered for the nation’s highest bench.
On Wednesday, the commander-in-chief announced a list of 20 additional candidates he would consider nominating to the court, which included Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).
Still on the list from previous years was Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) along with his brother, Utah Supreme Court Justice Thomas Lee.
For Hawley, the answer was a swift no.
“I appreciate the President’s confidence in listing me as a potential Supreme Court nominee. But as I told the President, Missourians elected me to fight for them in the Senate, and I have no interest in the high court. I look forward to confirming constitutional conservatives,” the Missouri Republican said in a statement Wednesday.
Cruz, however, offered a much vaguer response to his name being included, declining to say whether he would accept the nomination.
“I am grateful for the president’s confidence in me and for his leadership in nominating principled constitutionalists to the federal bench over the last four years. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I’ve been proud to help confirm to the bench over 200 of President Trump’s judicial nominees, including two to the Supreme Court. It’s humbling and an immense honor to be considered for the Supreme Court.
“The High Court plays a unique role in defending our Constitution, and there is no greater responsibility in public service than to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. In the Senate, I have been blessed to lead the fight to preserve our constitutional liberties — every day, to defend the rights of 29 million Texans — and I look forward to continuing to do so for many years to come,” the Texas Republican and former Trump rival said of being included on the commander-in-chief’s list.
Cruz, who clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist, had pushed for Trump to nominate Mike Lee to the bench in 2018. The president ultimately went with now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Reached for comment by the Salt Lake Tribune on being included on Trump’s list of potential nominees, Lee said in a statement that he would not turn down the opportunity if asked.
“I started watching the Supreme Court — for fun — at the age of 10, and have spent most of my life learning everything I can about the law. So of course if President Trump were to nominate me to serve on the court, I would not decline. But I am very happy in the United States Senate, serving the great people of Utah,” he told the paper.
Cotton said he too would take the job if asked.
“I’m honored that President Trump asked me to consider serving on the Supreme Court and I’m grateful for his confidence. I will always heed the call of service to our nation,” the Arkansas senator said. “The Supreme Court could use some more justices who understand the difference between applying the law and making the law, which the Court does when it invents a right to an abortion, infringes on religious freedom, and erodes the Second Amendment.”
Cotton also took to Twitter upon learning that his name was included on the list, offering a series of constitutional hot takes.
“It’s time for Roe v. Wade to go,” Cotton wrote in the first of three tweets.