EDITORIAL: Give Kavanaugh a fair and thorough hearing, and heed Colorado Republicans’ sound advice: ‘Elections have consequences’

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Colorado Republican Party Chairman Jeff Hays highlighted the most important issue Monday with President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court:  “Elections have consequences.”

That was Hay’s comment just after the circus-like nomination. He said he was thankful that Trump beat Hillary in the presidential election and won the ability to choose a conservative jurist to the nation’s top court.

Meanwhile, an army of Democrats and liberal activists are demanding the Senate turn the table on Republicans. They want to humiliate the GOP by publicly flogging them with the ludicrous hypocrisy that wrongly held up the Merrick Garland nomination to the Supreme Court during the Obama Administration.

Just as this newspaper and many others advised against a revenge battle in the Senate for Justice Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination, we admonish those who are demanding it again.

Republicans were wrong to cheat and lie to prevent an Obama appointee in 2016, and Senate Democrats mirroring that deceit would be equally wrong.

Close examination of Kavanaugh’s judicial record and temperament will determine whether he’s worthy of Senate confirmation, but he’s due a fair and earnest assessment — even though Republicans robbed Obama and Garland of that same right.

The point is, elections have consequences. Those voters who didn’t pay close enough attention to the last election, who didn’t pay heed to nearly every single newspaper in the country that warned against voting for Trump, can see now what they’ve wrought upon themselves and the nation.

While Colorado soundly rejected Trump as president, as did the majority of American voters, this state ignored other strong warnings and clear signs in electing Republican Cory Gardner to the Senate in 2014.

Gardner, who painted himself a moderate, has shown nothing but contempt for the voters who naively believed him. Since elected, Gardner has revealed himself a lockstep soldier in the GOP tea party force that provides cover for the Trump White House and undermines critical Colorado issues, including rights Trump and this Republican Congress are working feverishly to sabotage.
Elections matter, and the next election in November will like matter more than any other in recent history.

The next Congress will either become complicit with Trump or put a stop to his malfeasance and corruption. The next congress will decide the eradication or preservation of women’s reproductive rights, whether we ignore or acknowledge the human rights of immigrants and our own citizens, whether we protect our homes and planet from a catastrophic environmental disaster or succumb to industrial greed at all costs, whether we nominate judges who rule on American law or appoint more Trump activists to carry out his agenda from the bench.

Trump has the responsibility and the right to nominate a qualified jurist to the top court. The Senate should give the nomination a prompt hearing and, if he’s deemed qualified, a vote of the full Senate.

It will be up to Colorado senators Michael Bennet and Gardner to decide Kavanaugh’s elevation. Gardner voted to approve the Gorsuch nomination despite clear evidence Gorsuch was unqualified. Bennet opposed his nomination. Gorsuch should have been kept off the bench because of his preference for corporate rights over individual rights and his dismissing the importance of keeping the government from establishing a national religion.

Gardner may have an opportunity to redeem his claim that he is a moderate lawmaker who represents Colorado values. Given his record, it’s highly unlikely.

Regardless, if you’re aghast at what’s happening on the Supreme Court, in the White House, in Congress and the state Capitol, pay close heed, Colorado. Elections matter.