Hickenlooper: Dems would be justified in delay tactics
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday suggested that Democrats would be justified in delaying or blocking the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court in retaliation for Republicans’ refusal to hold a hearing on the nominee of former President Barack Obama.
“If someone commits an offense against you, generally, if there’s no consequence — if you just walk away and there’s no consequence — if you have another opportunity, you can be pretty much assured that he’ll do that same thing again,” Hickenlooper said during a news conference. “I don’t think I would hold it against Democrats to say, ‘Maybe we should slow this down.’ Because there are real questions about what happened to Merrick Garland, and I think that those actions — just like elections — have consequences.”
But Hickenlooper stopped short of taking a position himself on the nomination, saying he was “honored” that Colorado had someone as talented as Gorsuch nominated to the nation’s highest court.
Obama in March of last year appointed Garland to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, but Senate Republicans refused to hold a hearing, saying that the void should be filled by the next president. Republicans argued that American voters should have a say in a position as important as a Supreme Court vacancy.
“I think if the politics weren’t so distorted, he (Gorsuch) would probably get a large margin,” said Hickenlooper, a Democrat. “But the politics are distorted right now.”
Hickenlooper also suggested that the ongoing investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia could give Democrats another reason to hold off.
“We’re already beginning to hear people say, ‘Hey, if this is a legitimate cloud about the legitimacy of this president, should he be appointing the next Supreme Court, until we get this resolved?’ ” Hickenlooper said. “Somehow it was OK to wait 10 and a half months without having a candidate stand for the Supreme Court — maybe we should wait another four or five months and see what this investigation proves.”