COLORADO- On Monday night, Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado announced he will vote to confirm a qualified U.S. Supreme Court nomination from President Donald Trump. This is the latest development in the drama surrounding the Supreme Court vacancy after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
President Trump tweeted Tuesday he will announce his appointment on Saturday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated the Senate will move quickly on a confirmation hearing.
Gardner, a republican incumbent up for reelection, is in a tight race with democrat challenger and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
On Saturday at the Club 20 debates in Grand Junction Gardner was asked if he stood by statements he made in 2016, saying the Senate should wait until the next president was elected to vote on a Supreme Court appointment. At the time, President Obama had nominated Merrick Garland in March 2016 to fill a Supreme Court vacancy after the death of Justice Atonin Scalia. Here is part of Gardner’s response to that question at Club 20.
“I hope that before the politics begin, because there will be plenty of time for that, that we have some time for this country to reflect on the legacy of a great woman who lead our nation’s highest court,” Gardner said. “There is time for debate, there is time for politics. The time for now is to pray for the family.”
But on Monday night Gardner came out on social media and said he would vote to confirm a qualified nominee. This came after President Trump said on Fox News Monday morning a Supreme Court hearing in the Senate for one of his appointments would “help Cory” win reelection.
Gardner’s democrat opponent, former Colorado governor john Hickenlooper was quick to respond.
“This is what’s wrong with Washington, Cory Gardner is going to do whatever Donald Trump tells him to do,” Hickenlooper said in an interview with KREX 5/Fox 4 on Tuesday. “That’s not what the U.S. Senate was intended for.”
Hickenlooper also says the drama surrounding this Supreme Court vacancy is much different this time around. That being less than 2 months from the election changes things.
“I think the difference was, back in 2016, we were still 8 months away from the election,” Hickenlooper said. “And now people in certain parts of the country have already started voting. We’re in the election.”