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Gardner on court vacancy: Country needs to mourn Ginsburg 'before the politics begin'

Gardner on court vacancy: Country needs to mourn Ginsburg 'before the politics begin'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 MORE (R-Colo.), one of a handful of GOP senators facing tough reelection battles in November, said Saturday that the country needs to mourn late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgCourt watchers buzz about Breyer's possible retirement Five hot-button issues Biden didn't mention in his address to Congress Schumer waiting for recommendation on Supreme Court expansion MORE “before the politics begin.”

Ginsburg died Friday evening of complications from pancreatic cancer, creating a vacancy on the conservative-majority Supreme Court. Republican leadership immediately indicated that it plans to move forward with a nominee before the November election, while moderates facing tough reelections have been treading lightly on the topic. 

In a town hall Saturday afternoon, Gardner said he agrees with Democratic Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin, Biden huddle amid talk of breaking up T package Biden to go one-on-one with Manchin There will be no new immigration law under Biden, unless he changes course MORE (W.Va.), saying that "out of decency and respect for this country, we need to make sure that we are giving time for personal reflection on this loss of an American icon."

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Gardner did not directly say whether he would support a vote on a nominee this year.

"I hope before the politics begin — because there will be plenty of time for that — that we have some time for this country to reflect on a great woman who led our nation’s highest court and the work that she has done for this nation, whether you agree or not," Gardner said. "There is time for debate, and there is time for politics, but the time for now is to pray for the family and to keep [them] in our hearts and prayers as we mourn as a nation."

Gardner is running a tight race against former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperLobbying world DNC taps veteran campaign hands for communications staff Harris casts tiebreaking vote to advance Biden nominee MORE, the party's Democratic Senate nominee. Throughout the town hall Saturday, Gardner touted his bipartisan relationships in the Senate. 

Another moderate GOP senator, Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTop female GOP senator compares Cheney ousting to 'cancel culture' Utah county GOP censures Romney over Trump impeachment vote House conservatives take aim at Schumer-led bipartisan China bill MORE of Maine, announced Saturday that she does not think the Senate should vote on a nominee before the election. Collins and Gardner are the only two Republican senators running for reelection in states won by former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAmerica departs Afghanistan as China arrives Young, diverse voters fueled Biden victory over Trump McConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' MORE in 2016.