Hickenlooper Dodges on Court Packing

October 14, 2020

Colorado Senate candidate John Hickenlooper (D.) dodged the question of court packing during a Tuesday debate.

The debate moderator directly pressed Hickenlooper to say whether or not he would support packing the Supreme Court if Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed, but the candidate avoided answering the question.

"It’s a hypothetical," Hickenlooper said.  "Let’s put it this way: I don't like the idea of court packing, we're seeing it right now. We're seeing court packing in full fury and it doesn't make any sense to me."

Hickenlooper was saying that President Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court constitutes court packing—a new Democratic strategy to redefine the legal term.

Incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner (R., Colo.) took Hickenlooper to task for misrepresenting the term and being unclear on court issues.

Claiming that Barrett's nomination represents court packing is "Orwellian spin," Gardner said.  "Now, John knows exactly what court packing means. He's trying to hide tonight…"

Colorado Republican Party spokesman Joe Jackson blasted Hickenlooper's non-answer. 

"It is absolutely shameful that John Hickenlooper continues to dodge telling the people of Colorado that he'll stand with Chuck Schumer and radical Democrats on packing the Supreme Court," Jackson said. "Coloradans deserve to know that Hickenlooper would vote to blow up a 150-year Supreme Court precedent and throw our courts into a partisan tug of war."

Hickenlooper's aversion to answering the court-packing question resembles Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's strategy.

Biden has also offered ambiguous answers to such integral judicial questions as term limits for justices and Puerto Rico statehood. Hickenlooper has previously gone on record advocating for District of Columbia statehood.