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Sen. Tim Scott plans to recommend Trey Gowdy for Supreme Court

CNN logo CNN 6/30/2018 By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 04: Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on Capitol Hill October 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) © Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 04: Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on Capitol Hill October 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sen. Tim Scott wants to recommend his friend and fellow South Carolinian Rep. Trey Gowdy to be one of the candidates President Donald Trump considers for the Supreme Court.

"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 in an interview on CNN's "The Van Jones Show" airing Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. "I hope that the President will be open to that recommendation."

Scott called Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, "incredibly fair" and said he was an equal opportunity critic of both the Trump and Obama administrations.

"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.

The two Republicans have grown close over their time in Congress and recently co-authored a book,"Unified: How Our Unlikely Friendship Gives Us Hope for a Divided Country."

Gowdy, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, plans to leave politics at the end of his term and return to working in the justice system. Earlier this year, Scott and Lindsey Graham, the other senator from South Carolina, lobbied the White House to back Gowdy's nomination for a federal appeals court vacancy, but Gowdy wasn't interested, a source told CNN at the time.

Anthony Kennedy announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of July, leaving Trump with the opportunity to nominate another conservative justice and reshape the court for years.

Kennedy served as a swing vote, and although he sided with his conservative colleagues more often, he sided with the liberals on the court on abortion issues and penned Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark opinion that cleared the way for same-sex marriage nationwide.

Trump told reporters Friday that he's narrowed the pool down to five potential candidates and will announce Kennedy's replacement on Monday, July 9. Trump's Supreme Court nominee ultimately will have to be approved by the Senate.

Asked by anchor Van Jones of any deal breakers regarding the positions of potential candidates, Scott said he does not have a "litmus test on a specific issue," but will scrutinize each of their records.

"I want someone who understands and appreciates where our country is today, not where it was 50 years ago," Scott said.

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