DENVER (CBS4) - Republican Sen. Cory Gardner says the Senate has a constitutional duty to vote on President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, and, he says, if the nominee is qualified, he will vote to confirm.
"I have and will continue to support judicial nominees who will protect our Constitution, not legislate from the bench, and uphold the law," Gardner said in a statement on Monday.
Democrats have launched a pressure campaign against Gardner, who is in one of the toughest re-election battles in the country. They say Republicans should wait until after the election to fill the seat of the late-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, but the president says he will announce his pick by the end of the week.
In an interview with Fox News, Trump said the nomination will improve Gardner's re-election chances.
"I think it's going to help Cory Gardner. He's a great guy, by the way, and very, very loyal to the party and loyal to his state."
Colorado Judge Allison Eid is among those on President Trump's short list for the nomination. A former Colorado Supreme Court Justice, she was confirmed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals three years ago. Both Gardner and Colorado's Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet voted in favor of her confirmation.
Attorney David Wilson has known Eid for 30 years. He says not only is she widely respected in the legal community, she was friends with Justice Ginsberg and a mentor to Ginsberg's son.
"There are these connections transcend politics reflect its possible for people get along regardless ideological disagreement," said Wilson.
He says Eid is fair, impartial and empathetic. He says she was raised by a single mom and grew up in poverty. But, Democrats are warning against confirming any of Trump's nominees. They say if the Senate acts, they will add seats to the court if they win in November.
Wilson says that's a bad idea.
"Upsets balance of power and no end game."
Republicans control the Senate. Four Republicans would have to join all the Democrats to delay the confirmation. When President Obama was in office, Republicans, including Gardner, opposed naming a Supreme Court nominee in an election year and Democrats supported it.
CBS4 Republican analyst Dick Wadhams says politics is full of hypocrisy, and the American public will see through it.
"Under the constitution, President Trump has the responsibility to put forth a nominee and the Senate has the responsibility to act on that nomination one way or another, and President Trump's term doesn't end before the election. It ends on Jan. 20 whether he gets re-elected or not. The Democrats are playing with fire I think."
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