Daniel Ramos

Daniel Ramos, the retired director of One Colorado, spoke about the outsized role the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg played in laws that protect lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and queer Coloradans during a virtual fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020.

President Donald Trump on Saturday ratified what the press reported Friday: Amy Coney Barrett is his pick to become his third appointee as a Supreme Court justice.

The announcement came eight days after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died and 38 days before the November election, with the presidency and 35 Senate seats up for grabs.

Barrett had emerged quickly as the front-runner for the post, though Colorado media outlets noted last week that Colorado's Allison H. Eid, a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver, was also on Trump's short list of possible nominees.

Report: Eid a possible replacement from Ginsburg

Barrett, 48, from South Bend, Indiana, was appointed by Trump to be a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She counted her former boss, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, as her mentor.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner provided a critical vote for the president and Senate GOP trying to seat the justice before the election.

"The American people elected a President and Senate majority who committed to nominating and confirming judges who follow the Constitution, uphold the law, and refuse to legislate from the bench," Gardner said in a statement issued after Trump's announcement. "In the days and weeks ahead, I look forward to meeting with Judge Amy Coney Barrett and thoroughly examining her judicial record as I fulfill my constitutional duty of advice and consent."

Former Gov. John Hickenlooper, Gardner's Democratic challenger, denounced the Republicans' attempt to fill the seat so close to the election in a move contrary to the GOP's position four years ago when Scalia died and Republicans refused to consider President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.

"A lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court is too important to be rushed through 38 days before the election," Hickenlooper said. "As Cory Gardner said in 2016, the election is too close and the stakes are too high. The fate of the ACA and Roe v. Wade are on the line. The people deserve to be heard."

Gardner says he will 'vote to confirm' qualified Supreme Court nominee

Barrett was a contender two years ago when the president chose Justice Brett Kavanaugh instead.

Trump's first pick in 2017 was Coloradan Neil Gorsuch, who filled the vacancy created more than a year earlier when Scalia died nine months before the election.

"I am ecstatic that President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Judge Barrett understands the Constitution means what it says," state House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock, a legislative workhorse on issues such as guns, abortion and religious liberty, said in a text Saturday. "She is well-qualified and of good character. With her on the Court, I have faith that the integrity of the Constitution is in good hands. The Senate should confirm her as soon as possible."

The court is expected to hear a case that could undo the Affordable Care Act on Nov. 10, several Coloradans pointed out Saturday.

The tilt of the court could affect Coloradans with preexisting conditions and those who get their policy through the Connect for Health insurance marketplace created by Obamacare, a prime judicial target for conservatives in general and Trump in particular.

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, the Denver Democrat who co-chairs the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, called on the Senate to wait until after the president elected in November is sworn in before considering a nomination to replace Ginsburg.

“Just because Judge Barrett is a woman doesn’t mean she’s a champion of women’s rights," DeGette said in a statement. "In fact, Judge Barrett has a long history of opposing women’s constitutional right to reproductive care and to control what happens to their own body."

Added DeGette: "Justice Ginsburg was a hero to those of us who have dedicated our lives to fighting for women’s rights. Judge Barrett’s confirmation to the highest court in our land would set us back decades in our fight for equality."

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican, said in a statement that he was "thrilled" by Trump's nomination of Barrett.

"Barrett’s pro-life record, views on judicial originalism, and strict reading of the Constitution would be a welcome addition to the Supreme Court," Lamborn said. "I hope that the Senate acts swiftly to confirm this very qualified nominee to fill the seat."

Morgan Carroll, chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, called Barrett an "anti-choice and anti-Affordable Care Act" nominee in a statement blasting Trump's announcement.

“Senator Cory Gardner cowardly caved to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell and gave his party bosses the green light to rush a Supreme Court justice through that could overturn the Affordable Care Act — gutting protections for people with pre-existing conditions — and put Roe v. Wade on the chopping block," Carroll said. "Plain and simple, Senator Gardner sold Coloradans out.”

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, who chairs the Colorado GOP, called Barrett an "excellent pick" in a statement.

"She is a brilliant legal mind and solid conservative," Buck said. "The Senate should confirm her immediately."

U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, an Aurora Democrat, said in a statement that Barrett's confirmation could have a wide-ranging effect.

"Let’s be clear," Crow said, "Amy Coney Barrett will roll back reproductive rights, access to health care, environmental protections, labor rights, public education, the fight against climate change, law enforcement reform, protections for Dreamers, gun violence prevention, protecting public lands, and so many other Colorado priorities. Our society can’t afford to move backwards."

He added: "Instead of ramming through a judicial nominee with 38 days left until the election, the Senate must wait until after the inauguration and allow the American people to have a voice in a decision that will shape our country for decades."

State Rep. Leslie Herod, a Denver Democrat, campaigns for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and chairs the Black Democratic Legislative Caucus.

"This appointment is an affront to the life and legacy of Justice Ginsburg," Herod texted Saturday after Trump announced the pick. "We must block her confirmation."

Karen Middleton, the former state legislator who leads the reproductive rights organization Cobalt, called Barrett out of step with most Coloradans.

She called the Roe v. Wade decision a fundamental part of the state's values.

"It is clear from her rulings and judicial writing that Judge Barrett does not share our Colorado values, and was chosen because she meets Trump’s litmus test of only nominating Justices who will overturn Roe," Middleton said in a statement.

Daniel Ramos, the retiring executive director of One Colorado, began his address at the gay rights advocacy group’s annual gala by lauding Ginsburg.

“She was the center of so many cases that shaped the lives and the laws for LGBTQ Americans,” Ramos said, from the decision that struck down Amendment 2, a Colorado constitutional amendment that barred protections for LBGTQ people, to the ruling that affirmed same-sex marriages in 2015.

In 2018, when a Lakewood cake shop won a 7-2 decision before the Supreme Court when he refused to make a cake based on his religious beliefs, Ginsburg and Justice Sonia Sotomayor voted in the dissent.

Ben Jealous, president of the left-leaning People For the American Way and a former NAACP president, held a virtual Colorado town hall Saturday afternoon shortly before the president's announcement. The call had more than 3,111 people listening in, the event's moderator said.

He said Trump is looking for court votes to do away with coverage for preexisting conditions, after he could not get a repeal through Congress in 2017 and turned to the courts instead. Trump vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare during his campaign four years ago.

"It could not be more serious," Jealous said on the call, joined by state Sen. Dominick Moreno, a Democrat from Commerce City and a health-care access activist.

"Let’s be clear. Health care is what’s on the ballot this fall and it’s what’s at stake with this Supreme Court pick,” Moreno said, adding, “We cannot allow this to happen.”

He called for pressure on senators, including Gardner, not to support filling the seat until after the election.

State Sen. Larry Crowder from Alamosa was pleased with Barrett as the nominee.

"Excellent choice for supreme court. Excellent choice for all Americans," he said via text. "Maybe we can save some babies."

This developing story will be updated.

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