Jason Lewis: 'Will of people' behind quick court confirmation

Jason Lewis, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate and former U.S. representative for the 2nd District, joined All Things Considered on MPR News Tuesday to talk about Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and his plan to gain Twin Cities voters.
Regina McCombs | MPR News 2016

In an interview with MPR News host Tom Crann Tuesday, Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis said Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is of “stellar quality.”

“I can’t see myself not being very, very excited about her jurisprudence given her judicial philosophy, which is that of Antonin Scalia, a textualist who basically adjudicates disputes according to the law as it’s written and not according to the law as a judge would like it to be,” he said.

Despite saying in 2016 that the Senate should not confirm then-President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Lewis said the Senate should confirm Barrett right away.

“If you look at the difference between 2016 and today, in 2016 the will of the people had President Barack Obama and his prerogative to fill a vacancy. But there is also a will of the people in 2016 to have a Republican Senate block that, and indeed they did. So this is all about the will of the people, as it always is,” he said. “That is the difference: You’ve got a Republican Senate now and a Republican president, and you didn’t have that in 2016.”

In an interview Monday, incumbent Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minnesota), said confirming Barrett threatened to turn lives “upside-down” because she would likely rule in favor of overturning the Affordable Care Act in a case on the court’s October docket.

Both candidates are scheduled to debate during Politics Friday this week.

Hear the full interview with Lewis by clicking on the audio player above.

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