Will Donald Trump Nominate Ted Cruz to Fill the Open Seat on the Supreme Court?

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) departs Donald Trump's Trump Tower in New York City.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) departs Donald Trump's Trump Tower in New York City. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Is the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice going to be Ted Cruz? As wild as that might sound, there is buzz that it might actually happen.

We all remember the bitter words exchanged between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump during the Republican primaries, but since that time they have mended fences, and Cruz ultimately ended up endorsing Trump. And Trump has shown that he is willing to work with his former rivals. He has already chosen Ben Carson to be his housing secretary. For a while there, it looked as though Mitt Romney was the leading contender to be secretary of state; and on Monday, Carly Fiorina actually met with Trump about a potential position in his administration. So just because Ted Cruz and Donald Trump clashed on the campaign trail does not mean that Trump would hold a grudge.

In fact, GotNews is reporting that "a deal" is in the works that would result in Cruz being nominated to the Supreme Court once Trump ascends to the presidency:

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is set to be nominated for a position on the Supreme Court by President-elect Donald J. Trump if current trends hold, a source close to the process tells GotNews.

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The source told GotNews that "a deal" is being cut that would see Cruz nominated to the Supreme Court on the condition that a pro-Trump Republican could be found to replace Ted Cruz in the Senate.

It is unclear whether Cruz would be immediately nominated to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this year, or if his nomination would come later. While Cruz was not on Trump's list of potential Supreme Court picks, he undoubtedly fits the bill as a staunch conservative constitutionalist.

Of course, this report has not been confirmed, and even if it is accurate, we all know Trump is prone to change his mind about these sorts of things.

So Ted Cruz should not be counting his chickens just yet, but he has not exactly been downplaying the chatter, either. When speculation about a potential Supreme Court position first came up, Cruz said that he was "humbled" to be considered.

Cruz has been floated as a possible Supreme Court appointee, chatter he said he's "humbled" to hear. But if that doesn't materialize, the Texas senator, who's favored to win reelection in 2018, says he'll devote himself to holding Trump and the Republican Congress accountable to their campaign promises.

"The American people have entrusted Republicans with control of the White House, the Senate and the House. That happens very rarely," Cruz said late last week. "We now have a responsibility to stand up and deliver."

More recently, Cruz sounded very much like a politician eager for a new job when asked specifically about his chances of becoming the next Supreme Court Justice. In response to an audience question about filling the vacancy, he responded:

What I will say is that history is long and can take unexpected paths. I think it is absolutely vital that that seat and every other seat that comes vacant on the court be filled by principled constitutionalists who will be faithful to the law and will check their own policy preferences at the door and simply honor their oath.

I can also tell you that I have right now the privilege of serving in the United States Senate, of representing 27 million Texans. That is a privilege and a responsibility I take very, very seriously. And I look forward to continuing to carry out that responsibility and continuing to fight for the principles of freedom and the principles embodied in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

And just a few weeks ago, The Washington Examiner reported that a "Trump transition insider" said Cruz would definitely accept a seat on the Supreme Court if it was offered to him.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has informed Trump transition insiders that he would accept the nomination to take the place of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, potentially cementing the power of the court's conservative wing for decades, according to sources.

But another source close to Cruz said that while he is eager to help the new administration, he hasn't committed to any new position.

Cruz hinted at his openness to joining the court Friday at a legal conference.

"Ted Cruz would absolutely accept it if offered a seat on the court," said a transition insider.

It's clear that the nomination of Ted Cruz would be enthusiastically welcomed by tens of millions of social conservatives and evangelical Christians who voted for Trump in November.

So if Trump wanted to send them a thank-you gift, there would be few things Trump could do that would please them more.

And it would also remove a potential rival for the Republican nomination in 2020 if things don't go so well for Trump during his first term.

But could Cruz be confirmed by the Senate? It is no secret that many of his fellow senators greatly dislike Cruz, but they may just confirm him to finally be rid of him.

And even his detractors agree that Cruz is highly qualified. In fact, even CNN says that Cruz is "well-qualified" to serve on the Supreme Court.

Cruz is a former clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist and a darling of judicial conservatives. He's well-qualified and argued before the Court when he served as the Solicitor General of Texas. Trump might consider Cruz would kill two potential birds with one stone. He'd appoint a conservative and at the same time clear him out of the political arena.

It seems clear that Cruz wants the job, and it appears that Trump is definitely considering him.

A lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court is no small thing, and if Cruz does make it onto the Supreme Court, he could become a thorn in the side of the liberal agenda in this country for what could be decades to come.

Michael Snyder's book entitled "Living A Life That Really Matters" is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

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