Jeb Bush broke with his fellow Republicans Thursday night in saying that if he were the President of the United States with nearly a year left in his term, he would “probably” nominate a new Supreme Court justice to replace Antonin Scalia.
“I would fight,” Bush said. “Whatever powers are afforded to the presidency the president ought to use ’em. They are there for a purpose.”
Bush repeated Thursday that he is “an Article 2 guy,” someone who embraces the powers given to the president in the Constitution and believes the president has a responsibility to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court. He did concede, however, that in this “divisive” political environment, “It is unlikely that the Senate would provide the necessary consent for that nomination.”
The Senate GOP leadership is taking a hardline that no nominee should be considered until a new president takes offie next year.
Bush would not name names when asked who he would pick to fill the vacancy if he were in the White House, but he did identify qualities he was looking for.
“It would be someone who did not aspire to legislate from the bench,” Bush said.