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Colorado legislators react to Scalia replacement controversy

Republican Senate President Cadman to Congress: ‘Do your job’

DENVER – Republican Colorado Senate President Bill Cadman has a message for congressional Republicans considering blocking a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: “Do your job.”

“Both sides have a job to do, so I think the political posturing right now is somewhat unfortunate,” Cadman told reporters on Tuesday.

The issue hit a boiling point over the weekend following news of Scalia’s death. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly said the Senate should not confirm a replacement for Scalia, a conservative, until after the 2016 election.

Republicans fear Obama could tilt the court with a liberal appointment.

What was particularly shocking about McConnell’s message was how quickly it came, only about an hour after Scalia’s death had been confirmed. Many congressional Republicans, and some running for president, quickly stood by McConnell’s statement.

The Colorado Legislature has little power over Congress. But sometimes lawmakers send what many call a “letter to Santa Claus” or resolution, asking Congress to act on a specific subject.

It doesn’t appear that the Legislature is working on such a symbolic gesture. But Cadman said Republicans on the federal level have a chance to influence the process.

“This is actually the time where the Republican Senate could have an influence on a Democrat presidential nominee. Let the process work,” Cadman said.

“I know it’s a bit unusual to be in this place with a nominee, with so little left of a presidential term. But it is what it is. Both sides have a job to do, and we’ve been down this road before,” Cadman said.

Democratic Colorado House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst of Boulder said she also doesn’t expect her caucus to send a letter to Congress. But she “strongly” encouraged U.S. Senate Republicans to act.

“This is a constitutional requirement of the president of the United States. Barack Obama is president of the United States,” Hullinghorst said. “Perhaps there are people that don’t like that idea, but the fact of the matter is it’s his responsibility to name a successor, and it is the constitutional requirement of the Senate that they review that and approve it or not.”

Added House Majority Leader Crisanta Duran of Denver: “This is an example of Republicans at the federal level going too far and being obstructionists.”


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