Garland’s record of distinction
Sen. Mitch McConnell’s actions in regard to Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, have brought shame upon the people he claims to represent.
I believe our country is founded upon the belief that a man is entitled to reap his just rewards after a lifetime of service and that the country is entitled to be led by the best and brightest. Apparently, McConnell doesn’t. He said Garland won’t be considered for the nomination.
Garland graduated Harvard Law School, magnum cum laude, in 1977. He served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr.
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He later became a United States attorney and spearheaded the Oklahoma City bombing prosecutions. He would carry pictures of the victims to remind himself of the importance of his role in bringing the guilty to justice.
For the past 20 years, Garland has served with distinction as a federal circuit judge. I watched him break into tears when nominated this week.
That’s the man who is not worthy of meeting with McConnell.
In one single egotistical, politically motivated and selfish move, McConnell has capsulized why idiots such as Donald Trump have a chance to lead our country. All Kentuckians should call him out on it.
Paul J. Hill
Obama’s sacrificial goat
President Barack Obama’s cynicism and insensitivity were displayed in his nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
The Constitution specifies no time-frame for Senate hearings and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that none will occur during this session. Knowing this, Obama made Garland the sacrificial goat, using him as a tool for expressing disdain for the Senate but obviously embarrassing Garland, who nevertheless allowed himself to be so used.
Garland’s Rose Garden picture with Vice President Joe Biden represented humongous hypocrisy since then-senator Biden presided over the hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991, during which someone dug up Anita Hill to make sexual charges against Thomas, who later called the effort “a high-tech lynching” — appropriate concerning only the second black to serve on the court.
Biden conducted the hearings for nominee Robert Bork, acclaimed brilliant jurist and judge on the D.C. Circuit Court in 1987, making sure this strict Constitution-interpreter had no chance.
In 2005, Chief Justice Roberts was nominated only after Republicans threatened to bust the filibuster rules being used (they thought) by Democrats to sink Roberts.
What goes around comes around.
James L. Clark
Constitution gives Senate big role
Article II Section 2 of the Constitution says the president “shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States.”
The president does not appoint Supreme Court justices without the approval of the Senate. The Founding Fathers did not wish to have either the legislative or executive branch hold sole power to select justices.
Were the leaders of the Democratic-controlled Senate under President Ronald Reagan a disgrace to the nation for their ongoing shameful overreach of power by declining to give consent to the president’s first nominee, Daniel Bork, in 1987 and his second, Douglas Ginsburg, also in 1987, and finally in 1988 giving consent to Anthony Kennedy.
The Senates under control of both parties — the Democrats of 1987-88 and the now Republicans of 2016-17 — were and are upholding their part in the appointment process.
Bernard J. Samuelson
Hoisted on his own petard
Many people still remember Sen. Mitch McConnell’s strong statements in 2005 defending the absolute right of the sitting president to nominate judges to the Supreme Court. But how many of us know of the article he published in the Kentucky Law Journal in 1970? Every newspaper in the country should be examining and then featuring the statements of that article in light of McConnell’s current obstructionism.
Interestingly, McConnell’s current pronouncements regarding the right of President Barack Obama to nominate a Supreme Court justice and the Senate’s role as arbiter to deny that right completely contravene McConnell’s statements in the law journal.
In that publication, McConnell clearly states that the president, elected by the people, can alter the ideological directions of the Supreme Court.
McConnell admits in his article that the Senate has at various times made purely political decisions (foreshadowing his own leadership, one presumes) regarding nominees. He argues that it cannot be successfully concluded that this is an acceptable practice
Furthermore, McConnell states that the Senate should discount the philosophy of the nominee as a consideration in its vote and instead rely on an analysis of the nominee’s competence, achievement, ethical behavior and absence of criminal record.
McConnell also apparently believed in 1970 that a statesman should be above partisan politics.
Blocking Obama smacks of racism
Sen. Mitch McConnell ignoring President Barack Obama’s right to nominate a Supreme Court justice is like former Vice President Dick Cheney jumping line for a heart transplant.
McConnell’s attempt to keep Obama in check smacks of racism at the highest level. I hear my black neighbors, and I see their continual harassment. Their lives matter.
I hear McConnell calling our president, a black man, worthless. McConnell is saying to my president: I am keeping you in check from fulfilling the duties of your office.
McConnell and his Republican cohort don’t speak on my behalf. According to the Constitution, the president nominates the justices. Is McConnell such the privileged white man as to subvert our Constitution? Are “we the people” likely to let him? I can see McConnell elbowing his way in front of children and black people if he should need a heart.
Where are “we, the people” who worked harder than Citizens United to get Obama elected to a second term? His term, our term, is not over. Let us speak out on his behalf. Let us stop this racism, bullying and privilege. His presidency, his legacy, matter.
People had their say in 2012
So, Sen. Mitch McConnell believes the American people should have a say in who the next Supreme Court Justice should be? May I respectuflly remind him that we have had a say. We elected Barack Obama president in 2012. Because senators are elected in even years, does he also believe that nominees should only be considered in odd years, because senators have a say in who the next justice should be?