Mike Lee’s Political Views: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Mike Lee

Getty Mike Lee

Mike Lee, the junior senator from Utah, is being hailed as the conservative favorite to take a seat on the Supreme Court. Lee, a staunch Tea Party Republican, is rumored to be one of President Trump’s top picks to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.

But Lee was also an outspoken critic of Donald Trump during the 2016 elections. He posted a video on his Facebook page announcing that he didn’t feel comfortable endorsing Trump, because of Trump’s poor treatment of women. “We’ve been asked to settle on matters of great principle with our candidate for POTUS, ” he said, and addded, “this can’t continue.” Lee asked Trump to “step down” and let another candidate take his place.

Trump is expected to announce his choice by July 9, but so far the president has been cagey about his decision. On Friday, reporters pressed Trump to say whether he was seriously considering Mike Lee for the Court. Trump replied, “he said he’d like the job; usually they don’t say that.”

Here’s what you need to know.

1. Lee Favors Strict Restrictions on Abortion

Mike Lee Slams 'Grisly' Planned Parenthood, Abortion Industry and its ProfiteersGet More PolitiStick Read: PolitiStick.com Like: facebook.com/PolitiStick Follow: twitter.com/ThePolitiStick2017-06-14T04:23:38.000Z

Lee has made scathing attacks on Planned Parenthood, which he describes as “grisly.” Lee has repeatedly called for abortions to be banned after 20 weeks. He has compared America’s abortion laws, which he says are too permissive,to the abortion laws in North Korea. He said, “Our abortion laws are as extreme as the abortion laws in Vietnam, in China, and in North Korea,” Lee said. “Now it pains me, and it should pain all of us as Americans, that the United States lags so far behind the rest of the world in protecting unborn children.”

Lee’s campaign website says that “every human life is precious from its very beginning. Every individual, regardless of age, health, or condition of dependency, deserves the respect and protection of society.” The page calls for abortions to be illegal after 20 weeks.

Lee has said that he is in favor of requiring minors (young women under the age of 18) to get their parents’ consent before having an abortion.

2. Lee Opposed the Supreme Court Decision Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

Senator Lee Reacts to Oral Arguments for Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage CaseAfter attending oral for the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage case, Senator Lee provides his analysis of the arguments presented and the reaction of the justices.2015-04-28T19:09:28.000Z

After the Supreme Court ruled that marriages between two people of the same sex were legal, Mike Lee said the decision was “unfortunate.” He stressed that ordinary Americans, not judges, should have been able to make that decision. Lee said, “Today five Justices took a vital question about the future of American society out of the public square, imposing the views of five unelected judges on a country that is still in the midst of making up its mind about marriage,” Lee said. “That is unfortunate, but it is not the end of the discussion, as Americans of good faith who believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman will continue to live as witnesses to that truth.”

More recently, Lee supported the conservative Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. That case went all the way to the Supreme Court; Jack Phillips, the baker in question, won by a narrow majority.

In the lead-up to the Supreme Court decision, Lee issued a statement denouncing “the secular, progressive creed clung to so confidently by the nation’s ruling elites.” He called for “tolerance” of different beliefs and said that the “elites” on the left were not allowing Christians to live according to their moral values.

3. Lee Says Americans Have a God-Given Right to Bear Arms

Mike Lee: Universal Background Checks Could Lead to National Gun RegistryOn Wednesday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) took to the Senate floor and warned that universal background checks could lead to a national registry system for guns. "Some of the proposals, like for example- universal background checks- would allow the federal government to surveil law-abiding citizens who exercise their Constitutional rights. One of the provisions we…2013-04-10T20:09:45.000Z

Lee is a staunchly against gun control policies. He has opposed requiring background checks before people can buy guns since, he says, this will eventually lead to a “national gun registry” and excessive government control of ordinary citizens.

Lee writes, on his Senate page, that Americans have a right, and even a duty, to protect themselves from criminals. Part of that means having the right to bear arms. Lee said, “The first defense against criminal threats to our persons and property is ourselves. That’s why we have a right — a right granted by God and protected by the Constitution — to arm and protect ourselves.”

Following the deadly Parkland shooting, journalists asked Lee whether he would support a ban on assault weapons. Lee said no, and asked, “How will the banning of this weapon make us safer? He added, “I don’t believe most Utahns would think that that was necessarily the answer.”

4. Lee Wants to Ease Environmental Regulations

Senator Mike Lee On Climate: We Don't Want Nations 'Lecturing' Us | MTP Daily | MSNBCRepublican Senator Mike Lee joins MTP Daily to discuss his support for Pres. Trump's decision to pull out of the international climate agreement. » Subscribe to MSNBC: on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc About: MSNBC is the premier destination for in-depth analysis of daily headlines, insightful political commentary and informed perspectives. Reaching more than 95 million households worldwide, MSNBC offers…2017-06-01T22:32:20.000Z

Lee was a strong backer of President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris accord on climate change. “The president did the right things,” Lee said, adding that the United States is already a leader in terms of cleaning up the climate and that we should not allow other countries to lecture us on environmental issues.

Lee has also voted for the “contract from America,” a set of conservative ideas which calls for further exploring America’s oil reserves, and an end to so-called “cap and trade.”

Back in 2016, Lee was the lone Republican in the Senate blocking a bill that would have provided 220 million dollars in federal aid for Flint, Michigan and other cities with contaminated drinking water.Lee said that his stance was a matter of principle, since he believes in the importance of a balanced budget.

Lee has also called for a reduction to federal wildlife preserves, arguing that the federal government should not own so much land west of the Rockies. Lee calls government control of land “a recipe for disaster.”

5. Lee Wants a Constitutional Amendment Requiring a Balanced Budget

Senator Lee Joins Other Republicans to Push for the Passage of a Balanced Budget AmendmentAs the Senate prepares to vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment, Senator Lee joins with his Republican colleagues to push for its passage.2011-06-29T20:09:33.000Z

In 2013, Lee introduced an amendment to the constitution that would require the federal budget to be balanced. Lee argued that government spending is out of control, and that excess spending was also leading to a bloated, over-sized government. Lee said, “We have an obligation to correct course and put the country on a responsible path to fiscal sustainability. Families, businesses, and state and local governments are all expected to live within their means. The federal government should do the same.”

The proposed amendment, S. J. Res 1, would require Congress to spend no more than it takes in during any fiscal year. It would limit spending to 18% of the gross national product, the 40 year historical average of total federal receipts. Congress can only run a deficit, raise taxes or increase the debt limit if agreed to by a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate.

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