DENVER (CBS4/AP) — The U.S. Senate should withhold confirmation of any nominee to the Supreme Court until the next president is inaugurated, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said Monday. The mayor noted that the Senate Majority, including Sen. Cory Gardner, firmly held the same position in 2016, when they refused to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama’s nominee.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the longest serving woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, died Friday, at age 87 from complications of metastatic pancreas cancer.
“Replacing a Supreme Court justice requires more consideration than the influence of election year politics, and a rushed, hyper-partisan confirmation process,” Mayor Hancock said in a statement released Monday afternoon. “Just as it did in 2016, the Senate should hold to the precedent they have set for themselves.”
“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.
Hancock added, “To proceed otherwise would be the height of hypocrisy and an afront to the American people. Nothing is more damaging to the integrity of leadership than hypocrisy and duplicity.”
There’s no recent precedent for a confirmation vote so close to a presidential election.
President Donald Trump on Saturday urged the Republican-run Senate to consider “without delay” his upcoming nomination, even with the Nov. 3 election nearing. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said there is “no doubt” the winner of that election should choose Ginsburg’s replacement.
Plans were being set in motion Saturday for a swift and highly unusual nomination and confirmation in the heart of campaign season.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was moving ahead, vowing that Trump’s nominee “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.” Democrats say it’s “hypocrisy” after McConnell refused to consider then-President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, months before the 2016 election.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)