Hick­en­looper: Dems would be jus­ti­fied in de­lay tac­tics

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Brian Ea­son Brian Ea­son: 303-954-3051, bri­anea­son@den­ver­post.com

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.”

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