Sen. Kyl discuses Supreme Court, Hill internships

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., hopes to see a lot of changes in the U.S. government in the next few years, and not just in policy.

“We may have a couple of vacancies in the next four years; a couple of our justices are looking pretty old,” Kyl said. “[Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg] hasn’t looked well for 20 years. She’s still going strong, and I hope she does.”

Kyl, who is the No. 2 Republican in the U.S. Senate, spoke for only a minute and a half before taking questions from the AU student audience on March 19 in Mary Graydon Center.

Kyl said a potential Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, a key part of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, would be a “rallying cry” to either the Democrats or the Republicans, depending on the decision.

Kyl also criticized the current contenders for the GOP nomination for taking “cheap shots” at each other, making it easier for Obama’s campaign to win in the general election.

“None of these candidates can resist the temptation to whack the other candidate in a negative way rather than a positive way … I don’t like it,” Kyl said.

Kyl did praise Texas Rep. Ron Paul because his supporters believe everything he says.

“That’s unusual for a politician,” Kyl said.

Students were also interested in foreign policy. When one student asked Kyl about U.S. plans to stop Joseph Kony, the leader of the Ugandan military group Lord’s Resistance Army, Kyl admitted he didn’t know enough about the problem to propose a solution.

“If you don’t know, say so … For every complex problem there’s a simple and wrong answer,” he said.

Kyl also defended the Obama Administration’s use of drone attacks to attack al-Qaeda operatives, saying the United States’ enemies give up the right to due process when they decide to attack America.

Students cited specific acts of Congress and Kyl’s positions on legislative activity, leaving Kyl apparently impressed.

“You guys are really well-informed,” Kyl said.

Though Kyl praised internship programs on the Hill, he urged students to avoid jumping into a political career too early.

“Prioritize,” Kyl said. “What’s most important right now is getting through school and getting good grades.”

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