DENVER POST EDITORIAL: “Will Sen. Cory Gardner Apply His Precedent of Letting Voters Have Say Equally” With SCOTUS?

DENVER POST EDITORIAL: “Will Sen. Cory Gardner Apply His Precedent of Letting Voters Have Say Equally” With SCOTUS?

“Gardner has not answered questions about whether he’ll refuse to fill a vacancy weeks before a presidential election and keep voters from having a say”

Denver, COThe Denver Post is out with a new editorial calling on Senator Cory Gardner to stand by his 2016 commitment that “the president who is elected in November should be the one who makes this decision” and fills the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat. If Gardner succumbs to political pressure from Mitch McConnell and President Trump, the editorial board writes that he will also be a “man who stands for nothing except playing and winning the political game and the illness is political power.”

Despite Trump pressuring Gardner — saying he is “very, very loyal to the party” — Gardner has taken McConnell’s direction and kept his “powder dry,” dodging at least eight times questions on the lifetime Supreme Court appointment that will decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act. 

Last year, the Denver Post editorial board rescinded their 2014 Gardner endorsement writing that he “has become precisely what we said in our endorsement he would not be: ‘a political time-server interested only in professional security.’”

Read highlights below or the full editorial HERE.

Denver Post Editorial: Ginsburg applied the law equally; will Sen. Cory Gardner apply his precedent of letting voters have say equally?
By Denver Post Editorial Board | September 21, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a champion against sex discrimination, but what made her application of the law so compelling was her equal application — if there could be no government-funded military school for only men, then there could be no government-funded nursing school for only women. Some of the early cases she won as an ACLU attorney before the U.S. Supreme Court determined that if a woman should get widower benefits for a working spouse, then a man should too; and if a woman was eligible for housing as a spouse in the military then a husband must be eligible too.
. . . 

And now, tragically, it is time to fill her seat on the bench. Ginsburg died last week at the age of 87. President Donald Trump has the power to nominate someone immediately; there’s no law or rule preventing him from rushing his pick to the U.S. Senate for confirmation in the six weeks before the Nov. 3 election.

There is, however, the precedent Republicans in the Senate voluntarily set in 2016, about whether lawmakers should even consider such a hasty nomination.

“That is why the next president of the United States should have the opportunity to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court,” U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, explained in a press release on March 16, 2016, a full seven months before the election. “In 1992, even then-Senator Joe Biden stated the Senate should not hold confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court nominee until after that year’s presidential election. 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.”

We argued at the time that no such precedent existed, and that while the Senate was free to consider and deny Merrick Garland’s nomination for the Supreme Court, the legislative body should fulfill its duty and vote.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, like Gardner, was resolute: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

We of course disagreed with McConnell then, and we’d disagree with him today, if he weren’t proving himself to be a man without conviction (Gardner has not answered questions about whether he’ll refuse to fill a vacancy weeks before a presidential election and keep voters from having a say).

Less than 24 hours after Ginsburg’s death, McConnell announced (at the end of an email honoring Ginsburg’s service) that the Senate would consider Trump’s nomination. In fact, McConnell’s unabashed willingness to so quickly dispense with his “voters-should- decide” insistence is astounding. It’s the symptom of a man who stands for nothing except playing and winning the political game and the illness is political power. Are the spoils of power in this country so great as to corrupt so absolutely?
. . .

But we’ve never argued that such a decision should be in the hands of American voters when it was politically expedient, only to cast voters aside so easily when it’s a political liability.

Such inconsistencies dishonor the legacy of Ginsburg’s equal application of the law.

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