Sen. Mike Lee on Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Tariffs, and Congressional Dysfunction

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Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) sits down with Reason’s Editor-at-Large Matt Welch to talk about Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination and concerning record on privacy rights as well as criminal justice reform.

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Congress is “given a pile of papers, sometimes a couple thousands pages long, a few hours before the expiration of a spending deadline,” says Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). “When there’s no opportunity for debate, for discussion, for amendment, for individual members to improve [legislation], you’ve effectively disenfranchised almost 300 million Americans.”

Since toppling longtime incumbent Bob Bennett in a 2010 primary and then riding the Tea Party wave to become the junior senator from Utah, Lee has been one of the most careful and liberty-friendly legal minds in public office.

As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he’ll participate in the upcoming confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But he was almost in the hot seat himself: Lee was one of the seven finalists Trump considered to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Lee talked with Reason about the Supreme Court selection process, Kavanaugh’s Fourth Amendment views, and the senator’s longstanding goal to get a sentencing reform bill on President Trump’s desk.

Shot by Paul Detrick and Alexis Garcia. Edited by Detrick.

Photos of Sen. Mike Lee, Credit: Jeff Malet Photography/Newscom

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