Texas Sen. Ted Cruz predicted the Senate will consider a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy before the midterm elections.

He suggested that President Trump nominate his good friend and fellow senator Mike Lee of Utah.

"Today is really a historic day," Cruz said.

Cruz said Trump's nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch was a "defensive" pick to preserve the makeup of the court in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia's death.

But now, Trump has the opportunity to frame the court in a solidly conservative manner, Cruz said, noting Kennedy was often the "swing vote."


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He said the biggest issue for Trump in this regard is to nominate and confirm "principled Constitutionalists" who would "uphold the Bill of Rights."

Cruz said Lee is the "single best choice" to replace Kennedy.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York countered those sentiments Wednesday, calling for the Senate to abide by the "Biden Rule" in considering a Kennedy replacement.

In 1992, then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) gave a speech calling for Congress to delay any prospective Supreme Court pick until after then-President George H.W. Bush's ultimately unsuccessful reelection bid. There was no vacancy on the bench at the time, but Biden drew references to the "rancor" over Justice Clarence Thomas' nomination.

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