Cruz: Scalia's Death May Have Cost Clinton the Presidency

The Texas senator believes the 2016 election was a referendum on the Supreme Court
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2018 1:58 PM CDT
Cruz: Scalia's Death May Have Cost Clinton the Presidency
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, comments on the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court and the possible choices for President Donald Trump, during a TV news interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 28, 2018.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement that he will retire, giving President Trump a second Supreme Court pick, has set off a flurry of debate about the direction of the court. If Kennedy, a swing voter, is replaced by a strongly conservative justice, that justice could shape the court’s decisions for decades to come. Democrats are arguing that the selection should be delayed until after the midterm elections so that voters are heard on the issue, pointing out that when Justice Antonin Scalia died, Republicans blocked a replacement until after the 2016 presidential election for that very same reason. But Texas Sen. Ted Cruz believes voters already have weighed in on the matter, reports Mediate.

Cruz believes Scalia's death swayed voters to vote for now-President Trump in the 2016 election so that Trump, not then-President Obama or Hillary Clinton, would be the one to replace Scalia—that Trump's win was a referendum on the court. “I believe if Justice Scalia had not passed away when he did, there’s a very good possibility Hillary Clinton would be president of the United States right now,” he told Fox & Friends Thursday. "This was a major issue the American people decided, it’s a major reason we have President Trump and we have a Republican majority in the Senate." Cruz is backing Utah Sen. Mike Lee as Kennedy's replacement. "I think he would be extraordinary," Cruz told Fox News, per the Hill. (More Ted Cruz stories.)

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