Kevin Daley on June 13, 2018
GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said Wednesday that he is not interested in serving on the U.S. Supreme Court.
The senator told The Hill that he “reveres the institution” but prefers to stay engaged on political topics.
“I don’t want to stay out of political and policy fights,” Cruz said. “I want to be right in the middle of them. The Senate is the battleground for just about every big policy fight right now.”
Cruz’s name has frequently been mentioned in the Supreme Court’s connection. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — a SCOTUS frontrunner during the George W. Bush administration — and Chief Justice William Rehnquist. He went on to practice at Cooper & Kirk, PLLC, an elite conservative litigation boutique, and the U.S. Department of Justice. On leaving Washington he became Solicitor General of Texas, representing the state in all appeals court matters.
Cruz has argued nine cases before the Supreme Court.
One of Cruz’s closest congressional allies, GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, appears on President Donald Trump’s list of possible Supreme Court nominees. Like Cruz, Lee practiced law before his election to the Senate and clerked for Justice Samuel Alito. His brother, Utah Supreme Court Justice Thomas Lee, is also a contender for the next high court nomination.
Cruz is currently running for reelection. He faces Democratic Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke in the November election.
Speculation currently abounds in Washington about the future of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the 81-year-old anchoring the Court’s center. Some observers speculate the Court’s recent actions and thin docket for the coming term suggest a retirement is imminent. The justice himself has been cagey as to his plans.
Recent Supreme Court retirements have been announced in April and May, suggesting that Kennedy would already have made clear his intentions were he actually departing. Still, the justice will remain under close scrutiny until the Court adjourns at the end of June.
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