Cory Gardner votes to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to U.S. Supreme Court

Colorado’s two U.S. senators were divided along party lines Monday night on the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, a high-profile and highly partisan vote held just eight days before the November election.

Sen. Cory Gardner, a Yuma Republican who faces reelection next week, voted in favor of Barrett, a conservative who was confirmed by a vote of 52-48 and will now replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month.

“If you could take the politics out of this place, she would probably have a unanimous vote. Unfortunately, the politicization of this nomination is going to prevent that,” Gardner said in a speech praising Barrett before the vote, calling the judge someone whose “qualifications are immense.”

Sen. Michael Bennet, a Denver Democrat, voted against Barrett’s nomination. In a weekend speech on the Senate floor, he accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of destroying the Senate’s constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on judicial nominees and jeopardizing the credibility of the Supreme Court by announcing Barrett would be confirmed before she was nominated.

“Judge Barrett’s confirmation will cement a 6-3 majority on the court that will allow the powerful to do what they want, while standing against the American people’s efforts to protect one another, to support one another, and to invest in each other through our democracy,” Bennet said Sunday.

Ginsburg’s unexpected death, and Barrett’s rapid confirmation process, heightened interest in Senate elections this fall, including Gardner’s contest against Democratic candidate John Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper has accused Gardner of duplicity for saying in 2016 that a Supreme Court nominee should not be confirmed during an election year, then confirming Barrett days before the 2020 election.

“Cory Gardner has been trying to get rid of protections for pre-existing conditions for more than a decade, and this vote is just his latest attempt to do so,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “With health care on the ballot, we have eight days to make sure that Coloradans have their voices heard. Vote, vote, vote!”

On Sunday, several left-leaning groups, including the Colorado Sierra Club and Colorado AFL-CIO, delivered 17,026 signatures to Gardner, demanding he vote no on Barrett’s nomination. Instead, he voted in favor, saying Barrett will be a “guardian of the Constitution” and impartial, like an umpire calling balls and strikes.

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