Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas expressed interest in being nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court by President-elect Donald Trump, who used to refer to him as "Lyin' Ted."
Cruz was asked about filling the vacant seat during an event sponsored by the National Lawyers Convention Nov. 18, notes The Hill, and he replied:
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 principle constitutionalists who will be faithful to the law and will check their own policy preferences at the door.
The Supreme Court has been operating with only eight justices since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. The Republican-controlled Senate has refused to allow a vote on President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, since March.
New Republic reports that Obama could and should appoint Garland on Jan. 3, 2017, which would be the break time ("inter-session" recess) between the outgoing and incoming Congresses.
Trump announced Nov. 18 that he picked Rep. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama for U.S. Attorney General, whom Cruz praised:
He is a committed and deeply principled conservative and if those who serve in this administration have even the fraction of his integrity and his commitment to principle, we are going to see an administration that does remarkable things for the people of this country.
The Nation reported in February that Sessions "has a long history of opposition to civil rights, dating back to his days as a US Attorney in Alabama in the 1980s. The Senate rejected Sessions for a federal judgeship during the Reagan administration because of racist statements he made and for falsely prosecuting black political activists in Alabama."