'It's a Hypothetical': Hickenlooper Dodges Question on Court Packing During Debate With Sen. Gardner

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Posted: Oct 13, 2020 9:45 PM
'It's a Hypothetical': Hickenlooper Dodges Question on Court Packing During Debate With Sen. Gardner

Source: AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Former Colorado Governor and current Senate candidate, John Hickenlooper (D), took a page from Joe Biden’s playbook on Tuesday night during a debate with incumbent GOP Sen. Cory Gardner. As so many Democrats have in recent weeks, Hickenlooper dodged a straightforward question about court packing. The idea of expanding the size of the Supreme Court used to exist solely on the fringe of the Democratic party, but is now accepted as mainstream by many in the party. 

During his brief run for the Democratic nomination for president, Hickenlooper said that he'd be "open to" the idea of court packing, though he indicated concerned about the precedent. Now, in the middle of a battleground Senate race, he says that expanding the size of the high court is a “hypothetical,” rather than directly answering the question.

Hickenlooper echoed Biden once again, claiming that Republicans are guilty of court packing at the moment by carrying out their constitutional duty of filling vacancies on the Supreme Court. Of course, Hickenlooper's characterization is false. Republicans in the Senate are doing the job that voters elected them to do, and a double-digit majority of voters favor Judge Barrett's confirmation.

Sen. Gardner could not have been more clear in his rejection of the far-left idea of court packing. This is the second time in less than one week that Hickenlooper has deflected the question of court packing. During a previous debate with Sen. Gardner last Friday, Hickenlooper also ducked the question.

Candidates seeking a seat in the United States Senate certainly should be held accountable for ideas gaining momentum in their party. Hickenlooper and other Democrats should afford voters transparency by taking a clear stance on court packing, which presents consequential impacts to the future of the judiciary.