Retiring Congressman Trey Gowdy would be staying in Washington, but in a new role, if Senator Tim Scott has his way.
Gowdy has said he will resume his law practice when his current term ends. But Scott, who like Gowdy is a Republican from South Carolina, said the current chairman of the House Oversight Committee is a natural fit for the Supreme Court.
Justice Anthony Kennedy last week announced his retirement from the court, paving the way for President Donald Trump to nominate his second high court justice. In 2017, Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Trump has said he will announce his nomination on July 9, TheBlaze reported. Scott made his own feelings known well before then.
“I’m going to recommend Trey Gowdy be one of the folks that I would have a strong recommendation for him serving on the Supreme Court,” Scott said during “The Van Jones Show” on CNN on Sunday, according to CNN. “I hope that the president will be open to that recommendation.”
Scott called Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, “incredibly fair” and said Gowdy is as ready to criticize the current administration as he was that of former President Barack Obama.
“A guy who will call balls and strikes and not choose a side, even when he’s an elected member, at this time in our nation’s history, that’s hard to find,” Scott said.
Gowdy responded with a statement to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.
“Senator Scott and I share more than a bond of friendship, we share a passion for a justice system that is both respected and worthy of respect. To earn the respect of someone with the character and integrity of Senator Tim Scott is one of the highlights of my professional career,” Gowdy told the South Carolina newspaper.
Gowdy did not directly address the question of serving on the court.
During his CNN interview, Scott said he had no “litmus test on a specific issue,” but does want a justice ready to look to the future.
“I want someone who understands and appreciates where our country is today, not where it was 50 years ago,” Scott said.
Other senators have been more aggressive.
Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, wants a justice who will not violate the principle of stare decisis, in which courts follow their own precedents. In conversations about the Supreme Court, that’s generally used to describe how a potential justice might rule on a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion in the United States.
Collins told ABC’s “This Week” that some names on Trump’s public list of potential nominees fail that test, according to the Washington Examiner.
“There are people on that list whom I could not support because I believe that they have demonstrated a disrespect for the vital principal of stare decisis, which, as Chief Justice Roberts has said, is a fundamental principle of our judicial system that promotes evenhandedness and stability,” Collins said.