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Sept. 21, 2020, 8:44 p.m. EDT

At-risk Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner says he’ll follow McConnell lead and consider Trump pick to replace Ginsburg on high court

Gardner opposed considering President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee four-plus years ago, Merrick Garland, saying: ‘Our next election is too soon, and the stakes are too high’

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By Associated Press


Associated Press
President Donald Trump at his Saturday campaign rally at the Fayetteville, N.C., airport.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican senator in a tough re-election race revealed late Monday that he would consider President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado joined several other Republicans on Monday in pledging to consider Trump’s nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday of cancer. Gardner says he will vote to confirm Trump’s pick if the person “will protect our Constitution, not legislate from the bench, and uphold the law.”

Gardner was silent on whether the vote should take place before or after the November election.

See: Biden to senators: Extinguish the ‘flames’ engulfing U.S. politics by not ‘jamming’ through a Supreme Court justice

Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine are thus far alone among Republicans in saying the Senate should not take up the Supreme Court seat. Several Senate Republicans have disavowed or walked back past public positions on not filling a Supreme Court vacancy in a presidential election year.

In 2016, Gardner opposed considering President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, in part because the Senate and White House were controlled by different parties. “Our next election is too soon and the stakes are too high,” he said then.

Antonin Scalia, the justice whom Garland was set to replace, died 237 days before the 2016 election. Ginsburg died 46 days before the 2020 election.

Gardner is facing former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in November. Hickenlooper is given a five- to 10-percentage-point lead in most recent polls in the race for Gardner’s seat.

President Donald Trump has said he expects to announce his pick for the Supreme Court on Friday or Saturday. Federal appellate judges Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa have emerged as the likely front runners.

See: 5 things to know about Trump’s possible Supreme Court picks — including how Barbara Lagoa could help Trump win Florida

The body of Justice Ginsburg will lie in repose at the Supreme Court this week.

MarketWatch contributed.

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