Colorado’s Morning News, Cory Gardner, June 28, 2018

Station:    KOA, 850 am

Show:       Colorado’s Morning News

Guests:    Gardner, Cory


Date:        June 28, 2018

Topics:     Allison Eid, Timothy Tymkovich, Justice Anthony Kennedy, SCOTUS, Retirement, Mitch McConnell, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Biden Rule, Merrick Garland,

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HOST APRIL ZESBAUGH: [00:00:00] Republican leaders in Congress say they want to have a new Supreme Court Justice confirmed by October.”The Senate stands ready to fulfill its constitutional role.” Democrats vowing a confirmation battle because of what happened to their nominee two years ago.”Anything but that would be the absolute height of hypocrisy.” Let’s get into it all with our own GOP Senator Cory Gardner on the live line. Good morning.

U.S. SENATOR FROM COLORADO, CORY GARDNER: [00:00:21] Good morning.

ZESBAUGH: [00:00:22] April and Marty with you, here in Denver, on our way to some heat today as you heard. So, how critical is getting this justice confirmed before the midterms?

GARDNER: [00:00:29] Well, I think it’s absolutely critical for this court. This is an opportunity to have a full court going into the new session — the start of the session. There’s plenty of time to do this. And so I hope that we can have a process that gets back to what it used to look like in the Senate, where you have Republicans and Democrats working together to find somebody who’s right for the country.

HOST MARTY LENTZ: [00:00:51] Yeah, the only thing about that, Senator, is you talk about Merrick Garland. Two hundred and thirty-seven days left in President Obama’s term, and you never could get him through. So how do we square the circle now, where there’s — I don’t want to say a rush– but all the sudden there’s this sense of urgency and their sense of well let’s work across the aisle to get this done.

GARDNER: [00:01:06] Yeah, I think if you look at that situation, a completely different situation than what we have now where, you know, according to the Biden rule and others. This is not a presidential election year. This is not months away from the American people determining a new president that could influence the direction of the court. We’re not even halfway through the president’s first first term, so I think we’re talking a totally different situation, there, and an opportunity for us to put somebody on the court like Neil Gorsuch. Neil Gorsuch as a great Coloradan and [I am] looking forward to somebody like him — or her — and go onto the court.

LENTZ: [00:01:38] Yeah, but no one’s arguing the jurisprudence of Gorsuch, or maybe even the potential nominees. We’re arguing about the process. And the Biden rule is an arbitrary rule. It’s not a real rule. So, I think when people sit and say, “Well, we need to work together as a country,” that only seems to work when who’s in the White House and whether they have a ‘D’ and an ‘R’ in front of their names. And you know this! You get voted as being one of the most bipartisan senators. Here’s a chance to say, “You know, we kind of screwed it up the last time. We realize it’s our pick, but let’s be genuine in our efforts to try to make something good for the country.”

GARDNER: [00:02:05] Yeah, and I hope that that’s the way this works. I hope that we can find somebody that will be true to the Constitution, who is not going to legislate from the bench, who is not going to try to be an activist judge, but who’s going to take the cases and decisions before them where the law leads them to. That’s what we expect from any jurist who’s on the court. And that’s why today I’ll be sending a letter to the president asking him to consider Alison Eid, who has just confirmed to the 10th Circuit Court. She was a Colorado Supreme Court justice. This is an opportunity, I think, for us to put somebody of incredible caliber once again on the Court from Colorado.

ZESBAUGH: [00:02:35] Timothy Tymkovich, also on the 10th Circuit from Colorado, is on that short list as well. So, Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal has said that he doesn’t think the Senate should delay the process. But he went on to say the president should quote take his time and make a centrist choice. Would the country be better served by a swing vote like Kennedy, or staunchly conservative voice?

GARDNER: [00:02:54] Well, I think what I want is somebody who’s actually going to adhere to the law, who’s going to look at the law and take decisions — like I said — based on where the law leads them. That’s all we want in judges. We don’t want somebody who’s going to try to do the job of Congress, who’s going to try to do the job of the president. We want somebody who says, “This is the law. This is what it means. Here’s the decision.” This isn’t their chance to use their personal opinion or bias. You know, a judge who is happy with every decision they make is probably not a good judge, as Judge Gorsuch had said, because they don’t rule based on their personal opinion. They rule based on the law. You know, and so as people describe judges as left or right or centrist — No! What I want is somebody who’s going to interpret the law the way the law means it — that the textualist approach to it. This is something that we can have for generations on this court, who’s looking out for the law.

LENTZ: [00:03:45] When Justice Kennedy was appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan, you and I were younger people. But you think about Reagan making that appointment. You think about –I think — how the country has swayed right since then. Are we going to – so, to that matter, you want somebody that’s going to just follow the law. But looking at how the politics of swing so far right are we going to get a judge — even if they follow the law — one that’s got those right influences?

GARDNER: [00:04:05] Well, look, I think that’s what this process is about: to have the confirmation hearings, to fully vet them, to go through the cases, and to make that determination. That’s why I think somebody like Alison Eid — who had broad support across Colorado — is an appropriate selection. That’s why we go through the confirmations, the vetting that we do. I think if you look at the broad appeal that Judge Gorsuch brought to the Supreme Court, that’s the kind of thing that I hope we’ll see over the next several months.

ZESBAUGH: [00:04:31] While we wrap up with you, will you use the nuclear option if Democrats don’t play ball?

GARDNER: [00:04:35] Well, I think that is now the rule in the Senate. So, unfortunately, when Harry Reid did what he did, it led to the situation we’re in today. And so, you know, I’m sure there will be some who think they’ll be able to stop or block. But I hope they don’t, for the sake of this country.

LENTZ: [00:04:51] Two wrongs do make a right, is what you’re saying?

GARDNER: [00:04:53] What I hope we do, is we have somebody on the court who will follow the law.

LENTZ: [00:04:57] All right.

ZESBAUGH: [00:04:58] Senator Cory Gardner, thanks for the time.

GARDNER: [00:04:59] Thank you. Thanks for having me!