Some may be clouding the situation over who should nominate a replacement for United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. is clear where he stands on the issue.
On the Dan Caplis Show on 710 KNUS Thursday morning, Gardner said he would help block any appointment attempt by Obama to replace Scalia following the 79-year-old’s unexpected death last week.
“We are deep in the heart of a political campaign, a divisive election with a divisive president who has done nothing but overreach the congress time and time again,” Gardner said. “I believe the next supreme court justice ought to be chosen by the American people through the election of the next president.”
Scalia, who was the longest serving justice and appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, was a constitutional textualist. He believed the constitution should be interpreted to mean what a common person living at the time of its creation would have understood the words to mean.
Gardner also cleared up comments reported by the Denver Post that he said there could be the “slight possibility that Congress could confirm an Obama nominee — one “who can win over the majority in the Senate.”
“We are too close to the election. The President who is elected in November should be the one who makes the decision,” Gardner told Caplis. “I know the President likes to selectively read parts of the constitution. I didn’t go to Harvard Law School, but the constitution makes it very clear that the President shall nominate, and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint.”
The power to give “advice and consent” concerning Supreme Court nominees was given to the Senate, Gardner said, and the senate is going to use it.
Caplis pointed out that Obama tried to filibuster President George W. Bush’s nominee Justice Samuel Alito in 2006, while still a senator from Illinois.
Obama has since said he regrets that decision, but only after being called a hypocrite by Republican congressional leaders for his stance on the Scalia situation.
“The President not only filibustered Justice Alito, but (Sen Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.) said in 2007 that President Bush shouldn’t be able to pick a supreme court justice in the last 18 months,” Garder said. “And in 1987 the N.Y Times editorial said the new senate majority ought to decide who the supreme court justice is. And now of course the N.Y. Times is bending over backwards trying to cover for its historical inconsistencies.”
The supreme court is far too important to put it through a divisive political campaign like the president is going to do, said Gardner, who was also clear on the idea this is about race.
“I think the left has run out of ideas and is simply going to the most basic of attacks,” Gardner said. “It’s sad to see they are reduced to that.”
Audio of the Gardner interview begins at 56:55.
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