Republican Senator Cory Gardner has vowed to support President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee so long as they are “qualified,” triggering a storm of indignation from opponents who insist any vote should follow the 2020 race.

“I have and will continue to support judicial nominees who will protect our Constitution, not legislate from the bench, and uphold the law,” the Colorado senator said in a statement on Monday, amid heated debate over the replacement for liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away last week.

Should a qualified nominee who meets this criteria be put forward, I will vote to confirm.

BREAKING: Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) supports vote on Ginsburg seat, likely giving Republicans with enough votes to clear a nominee

Gardner became the latest Republican senator to get behind Trump’s upcoming SCOTUS pick – which the president said he could announce as soon as this Friday – after senators Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Joni Ernst (Iowa) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) made similar commitments earlier on Monday.

Ginsburg’s passing last Friday has opened up a fierce partisan dispute among lawmakers, with Democrats insisting that her replacement should wait until after the 2020 election, echoing an argument made by the GOP after the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, at the tail end of the Barack Obama administration. However, some Republicans have argued that such a delay is not necessary, saying voters had given the GOP a mandate in both the Senate and White House and that a nomination should come as soon as possible.

With Gardner’s support, it appears the Republicans will have the necessary votes to confirm the president’s nominee, despite uncertainty over how some lawmakers will approach the issue, such as Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who has yet to address the question.

Gardner’s statement nonetheless prompted a wave of outraged reactions from Democrats and #NeverTrump Republicans alike, many urging support for the senator’s electoral opponent in the upcoming race, Democrat John Hickenlooper.

“Cory Gardner just told everyone to donate to and make calls for Hickenlooper,” former California Congresswoman Katie Hill wrote with a strong dose of sarcasm, adding “Get this spineless sack out of the Senate.”

Cory Gardner just said he’ll vote to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s SCOTUS seat prior to the election.FLOOD his phones: (202) 224-5941.Support his opponent: @Hickenlooper.

Cory Gardner’s office number is (202) 224-5941.

OK, America. Cory Gardner has announced he is all-in for a Trump SCOTUS pick. Let’s pile on @CoryGardner right now and show him how we feel with an avalanche of donations for @Hickenlooper. Cory Gardner: You’re Fired! #DemCastCO

The anti-Trump Republicans at the Lincoln Project also argued that Gardner had “just conceded his election” thanks to his commitment on Trump’s SCOTUS pick.

Cory Gardner effectively just conceded his election.

Apparently sensing an opportunity to cash in on Gardner’s statement, his Senate opponent Hickenlooper also weighed in, pointing out that the Republican took the opposite position following Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, only changing it now for the sake of “[standing] with Trump.”

Feb 2016: Cory Gardner said the next President should choose the SCOTUS nominee6:15am today: Trump went on Fox & Friends to pressure Cory to vote for his nominee5:06pm: Cory said he’ll vote yesCory Gardner stands with Trump. One hundred percent.

While Trump has yet to announce a pick to fill Ginsburg’s former seat on the bench, he released a list of some 20 candidates last month, which he has narrowed down to five potential nominees. On Monday, he met with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has reportedly become a “favorite” among the candidates.

Democrats have vowed to fight tooth and nail to prevent any Supreme Court confirmation ahead of the presidential election, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) refusing to rule out a second round of impeachment in an interview with ABC News on Sunday.

“Well, we have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now,” she said.

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