(CBS4) - Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner released a statement about his position on the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy left by the late-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Gardner had avoided answering questions from journalists until Monday evening.
"When a President exercises constitutional authority to nominate a judge for the Supreme Court vacancy, the Senate must decide how to best fulfill its constitutional duty of advice and consent. I have and will continue to support judicial nominees who will protect our Constitution, not legislate from the bench, and uphold the law. Should a qualified nominee who meets this criteria be put forward, I will vote to confirm."
Gardner's statement follows criticism about both Democrat and Republican vows and promises made in 2016 when then-President Barack Obama tried to nominate a justice to fill Justice Antonin Scalia's seat. The push came during an election year.
Then, the Senate majority, including Gardner, refused to hold a hearing on his nominee. Four years later, President Donald Trump is pushing to fill the vacancy before the upcoming election. He's expected to make his nomination later this week.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock criticized the notion of filling the seat so close to an election. He said the decision should require more consideration.
"When Justice Scalia passed in early 2016, Sen. Gardner and his colleagues stated in their refusal to even hold a hearing on President Obama's nominee: 'Our next election is too soon and the stakes are too high; the American people deserve a role in this process as the next Supreme Court Justice will influence the direction of this country for years to come,'" Hancock stated.
"If nine months before an election was too soon in 2016, surely 43 days before the 2020 election is also too soon. Sen. Gardner and his colleagues also stated the next president should have the opportunity to fill the seat. If that was their position then, it should be the same now," he stated.
Demonstrators gathered outside the senator's downtown Denver office on Monday urging him to not vote on a nominee until after the election.
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper, and current candidate for Senate, released this statement:
"Hours after Donald Trump pressured him to get in line, Cory Gardner dutifully obeyed. In 2016, Senator Gardner set a clear standard that the people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice – but now he broke it to stand with the president at the expense of Colorado, as he's done 100% of the time."
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