‘Hypocritical and Intellectually Inconsistent’

(June 29) – The leaders of the Democratic caucuses in the Colorado legislature asked the state’s U.S. Senators today to try to postpone a Senate vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee to succeed the retiring Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court until at least January 2019, after the November elections.

In a letter addressed to U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran, Colorado House Majority Leader KC Becker and Colorado Senate Minority Leader Leroy Garcia asked that “until the American public has the opportunity to weigh in on the choice in the upcoming elections, and the investigations into the President’s misconduct are completed, no vote to confirm a Supreme Court Justice be scheduled in the United States Senate.”

The proximity-to-elections rationale was used by the U.S. Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, to postpone a 2016 vote on Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s choice to succeed the late Antonin Scalia on the high court. The Senate never took up the Garland nomination, and after Trump succeeded Obama, the Senate confirmed the new president’s nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

The letter quotes Sen. Gardner as saying in 2016, “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.”

Speaker Duran, Majority Leader Becker and Minority Leader Garcia wrote: “Arguments from Republicans in 2016 that voters deserved the opportunity to have a voice in the debate over the future of the Supreme Court are either equally valid today or they were never valid. But they were operative, and set a paradigm for delaying Supreme Court appointments close to elections that it would be hypocritical and intellectually inconsistent to ignore today.”

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