Does Cory Gardner need a civics lesson on court appointments?

Sen. Cory Gardner was just offered something most millennials would kill for: free college.

Taking inspiration from the late Harper Lee’s 1966 offer to help send an “illiterate,” book-banning school board back to first grade, dozens of demonstrators Monday afternoon called for Gardner to sign up for a Civics 101 course at any local college. Progressive group even offered to pay for it.

The protesters gathered outside Gardner’s downtown Denver office where they said the senator should either consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, or go back and study the Constitution.

The president’s nomination last week came just over a month after the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Gardner is one of the 43 U.S. Republican senators who have vowed, under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to deny Garland a hearing or a vote.

Related: The GOP Senate is trying to have cake and eat it too

None of the demonstrators suggested Republicans have to approve Garland. But they insisted the advise and consent clause of the Constitution requires the Senate to at least hold a vote.

“Quit obstructing justice and do your job,” one sign read. The protest was part of a nationwide day of action coordinated by to get Republican senators to consider the nominee.

“The Constitution gives the president the responsibility to nominate justices to the Supreme Court and gives the Senate the job of considering those nominees,” event organizer Phil Tatro told the crowd. “There are no exceptions for election years.”

Tatro’s statement was soon interrupted by an angry spectator gesticulating with a burrito.

“The Constitution does not require that the Senate take a vote,” shouted Elliot Fladen, a Denver attorney who’d been told of the protest as he was buying his lunch.

Chants of “Do your job!” quickly drowned out Fladen’s counterprotest. During an interview, he elaborated on his position.

“The argument that senators are failing to do their constitutional duty, because it’s a violation of the advise and consent clause of the Constitution, is just ridiculous,” said Fladen, a member of the Tea Party. “The advise and consent clause has no obligation that senators hold hearings or a vote. Bottom line, if you say they’re not doing their duty constitutionally, your argument is going nowhere,” he said.

Demonstrators head to Senator Cory Gardner's office to deliver a Civics 101 signup form.
Demonstrators head to Senator Cory Gardner’s office to deliver a Civics 101 signup form.

But the protesters were adamant that Gardner has a responsibility to his constituents to move forward on this issue.

“People are really tired of elected officials having allegiance to their party structures instead of to the voters who put them there,” said Ruth Clevenger of Denver. “We have a very qualified justice. He at least deserves a hearing. This is what we pay them for,” she said.

It seems even Chief Justice Roberts would agree that the political gridlock the Court is facing is detrimental to its purpose. Just 10 days before Justice Scalia’s death, he lamented how arduous and politicized the confirmation process has been for the Court’s most recent additions.

“The votes were, I think, strictly on party lines for the last three of them, or close to it, and that doesn’t make any sense. That suggests to me that the process is being used for something other than ensuring the qualifications of the nominees,” Roberts said.

Clevenger echoed his sentiment. “We think this is an issue that cuts across political parties,” she said.

A smaller group of protesters walked inside to Gardner’s office to drop off the civics class enrollment form and a page from the Constitution. They also hoped to schedule a meeting with him during the Senate’s recess.

The senator wasn’t in his office. A spokeswoman for Gardner told his constituents, after they made multiple requests to speak to him in person, that his trip home to Colorado won’t include any time in Denver when he could meet with them.

Photo credit: Kelsey Ray


  1. Of course Gardner will not meet with the folks who didn’t vote for him…Gardner is a corrupt Koch Puppet, willing to sell his influence to them…here is the last email that I received from Senator Corrupt…

    Thank you for contacting me regarding the current Supreme Court vacancy. I appreciate you taking the time to write. It is an honor to serve you in the United States Senate and I hope you will continue to write with your thoughts and ideas on moving our country forward.

    On February 13, 2016, Justice Antonin Scalia passed away. Our hearts are broken over the loss of this distinguished justice. A lifetime dedicated to the rule of law and the love of country, he was a guardian of the Constitution and the separation of powers established by our Founding Fathers. On March 16, 2016, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

    Our country is at a crossroads, and whomever the Senate confirms to occupy the vacancy will have a significant impact on the direction of our country for years to come. That is why the next president of the United States should have the opportunity to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. In 1992, even then-Senator Joe Biden stated the Senate should not hold confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court nominee until after that year’s presidential election. Our next election is too soon and the stakes are too high; the American people deserve a role in this process. Please rest assured, I will keep your thoughts in mind as discussions of a nominee continue.

    Again, thank you for contacting me, and do not hesitate to do so again when an issue is important to you.


    Cory Gardner

    I wrote back, telling him what I know about the Biden Rule…and the rest of the lies of the GOP…

  2. I think it’s “Liberals” (aka LEFTIST FASCISTS) who need a civics lesson, and lesson in the Constitution.

    First of all… BOTH Merrick Garland and Barack Obama are MAJOR VIOLATOR’S of the Constitution, which not only disqualifies them from office… but qualifies them to be brought up on charges.

    We’ve allowed Leftists to destroy our Constitutional Republic quite enough already. You don’t have a “right” to FORCE appointments on the people with a track record of disdain for the Bill of Rights…. and hostility towards human rights. The Supreme Court also has no authority to “create Law”, it’s job is to interpret existing Laws CORRECTLY.

    As plainly as the 2nd Amendment is written… SOMEHOW these so called “Liberal” (aka LEFTIST FASCISTS) always find an excuse to infringe it.

    They also took it upon themselves to DRAMATICALLY ASSUME that children in their mothers wombs are “NOT CREATED EQUAL” and somehow deserve no rights or protections… without ANY facts or science to back up their claims. Protecting the murderers and placing a ludicrous “burden of proof” on the Pro-Life community which should have instead been placed upon those committing the initial crimes.

    Garland even supports infanticide (Murdering children AFTER they are already born) so it’s no wonder Obama has takes such a fancy to him.

    PROTECTING MURDERERS, AND MURDERING CHILDREN. With homosexual fascism and the banning of free speech as an added bonus. These are the “values” of the current modern Democrat Party.

  3. Gabriel King –

    There’s no evidence that Garland “supports infanticide”.

    There’s quite a bit of evidence that killing, raping, abusing, and/or otherwise harming children is what religious fundamentalists do.

  4. You did read the article, right? Are you sure you are on the “right” page. HA, “right” see what I did there. LOL

  5. I urge that a complaint be filed against Gardner with the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Regulation Counsel for violation of Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(d), which prohibits lawyers like Garner from engaging in “conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.” There can be no doubt that deliberately stalling the appointment of a U.S. Supreme Court justice is conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. Garner may engage in this conduct as a legislator, but not as a lawyer. He needs to be disbarred.

  6. @Lawyer X: Good on you! I’ve been looking for some citizens’ recourse to this appalling behavior, and I think you’ve hit on something that can actually be done!

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