Editorials and Opinion
The Public Pulse: GOP has politicized the Supreme Court (Omaha World-Herald [NE] , 04/16/17)
Marylyn Felion: I do not recall any time when Democrats stonewalled a Republican nominee until the Republican president was out of office, thereby stealing a Supreme Court seat. What was done to Merrick Garland was unprecedented and unfair. It may signal the end of securing politically nonpartisan Supreme Court justices. Very sad.
Letter: We have had quite enough of Hatch (Salt Lake Tribune [UT], 04/16/17)
Ryan Hinkins: Hatch's efforts in concert with his party in denying a vote to Judge Merrick Garland's Supreme Court nomination was nothing short of denying the will of the people. President Barack Obama was elected for a four-year term and was expected to serve all of it, which he did. That included nominating Supreme Court judges.
Letter to the Editor by Margaret McKelvey (Washington Post, 04/15/17)
"The Senate majority leader’s op-ed was stunning in its hypocrisy, given his treatment of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Even scarier: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) either is blind to his own political behavior and believes what he wrote, or he knows full well that he was being hypocritical but thinks the American people are stupid enough to be taken in."
Letter to the editor: Rethink Collins’ suitability as senator after her support for Gorsuch (Portland Press Herald [ME] , 04/15/17)
Diane Herrle: I was saddened to see Susan Collins choose power and partisan politics over the people of Maine. She voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. This is a judge who ruled to deny a decent education to disabled children. Luckily, his decision was recently struck down by the existing Supreme Court. He has a history of deciding judgments for corporations instead of individuals. This very defective judge will now sit on the court forever because of her choice.
Letter to the Editor by Marijane Hynes (Washington Post, 04/15/17)
"Sen. Mitch McConnell’s nauseating op-ed about Democrats needing to work with the Republicans came from the man who said in 2010 that his top priority in government was making Barack Obama a one-term president. ... McConnell will go down in history as one of the major stonewallers of government of our time."
Letter to the editor: King’s vote against Gorsuch was well-reasoned (Portland Press Herald [ME] , 04/15/17)
Bruce Bartrug: Sen. King’s public forum concerning the nomination of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, … Over 600 people attended, … Of the 77 persons who spoke at the forum, only 13 supported Gorsuch. In an article in the Press Herald on April 4, Sen. King clearly indicated his reasons for deciding not to vote for Gorsuch. Those reasons included his research into Gorsuch’s judgments, as well as the way Gorsuch responded to questions at his nomination hearing.
Letter to the Editor by Benjamin Hollander (Washington Post, 04/15/17)
"Surely there can be no other reason than that it was then-President Barack Obama making the nomination for Mr. McConnell himself to deny Mr. Garland those same basic considerations he now feels are so important, given Mr. Garland’s long history of bipartisan support in the Senate. Although Mr. McConnell would like to pretend that Mr. Gorsuch’s nomination happened in a vacuum, we must not forget Mr. McConnell’s reprehensible conduct in 2016, when he was presented with a true consensus candidate."
Letter to the Editor by Vincent Miragliotta (Washington Post, 04/15/17)
"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s April 9 op-ed, pleading for the Democrats to cooperate, should be snipped from print copies and tacked to the walls of any political office where interns are to be taught how cleverly crafted hypocrisy, in the presence of enough voter ignorance, can justify otherwise reprehensible behavior.... leave out how you decided that the Senate majority could, nearly a year from an election, dodge its collective responsibility to confirm your opponent’s Supreme Court nominee, for no reason other than “a president of a different party had nominated him.”"
Shame on Democrats? No, shame on McConnell. (Washington Post, 04/15/17)
Larry Sternbane, Letter to the Editor: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in blaming Democrats for the “direct attack on the traditions of the Senate” that led his conference to change Senate rules, conveniently left out the fact that the Senate, under his control, abdicated its constitutional responsibility to advise and consent with regard to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Under Mr. McConnell’s watch, Mr. Garland did not even get the courtesy of a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, much less an up-or-down vote on the floor of the Senate.... This despicable act, to which the Senate Republican Conference acquiesced, was a remarkable showing of disrespect for a sitting president and for Mr. Garland, a well-qualified nominee.
Letter to the Editor by Myron Beckenstein (Washington Post, 04/15/17)
"Even if the Democrats planned to filibuster the nomination, it did not follow that the “nuclear option” had to be invoked. That was discretionary. In his op-ed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did not mention Judge Merrick Garland, even though Mr. McConnell again stretched the limits of what could be done just to deny Mr. Garland a seat on the Supreme Court. It isn’t fairness Mr. McConnell is seeking; it is partisan supremacy no matter the cost to the nation."
MINI: This is why Democrats opposed Gorsuch (Sioux City Journal [IA], 04/14/17)
Thomas E. Hudek, Letter to the Editor: Democrats opposed Mr. Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court because: 1) It was a stolen seat. Merrick Garland should at least have had an up-or-down vote. 2) Gorsuch has sided with corporations over working-class people 100 percent of the time.
Letter: Nothing flawless about Gorsuch process (Quad City Times [IL,IA] , 04/14/17)
Sue Griswold: millions of us will recall that this nomination was stolen from our last president and given to the present White House occupant, while that occupant and his staff remain under FBI investigation for contacts with Russia.
Yes, Sen. Grassley looks to have some of the flawless skills of a consigliere to a major crime family.
Opinion How Mitch McConnell stole a Supreme Court seat (Los Angeles Times, 04/14/17)
Dave Hoen, Letter to the Editor: Isn’t it ironic that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) single handedly decided who should serve on the Supreme Court by blocking Merrick Garland from being considered after he was nominated in 2016 by President Obama and then invoking the nuclear option to confirm Neil Gorsuch, all in an effort to replace the strict constructionist Antonin Scalia with another strict constructionist, Gorsuch?
Jeff Flake Probably Regrets Hosting This Town Hall: He took serious heat for healthcare and boxing out Merrick Garland. (Esquire, 04/14/17)
Jack Holmes: Flake also touched on the issue of Supreme Court nominations. How'd that go? "What happened to Merrick Garland's vote?!" Jeff Flake's constituents overwhelm him w/ boos over Gorsuch talk —via @Morning_Joe pic.twitter.com/B6q9yI3JLC
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 14, 2017
While the tactic Republicans used to deny Merrick Garland a confirmation vote for nearly a year might not have been a filibuster, the effect was the same—and it was unprecedented. Flake's smile while trotting out this excuse betrays the fact that he knows this as well as anyone. The cynicism that now dominates Beltway politics—particularly among Mitch McConnell and his caucus—is really breathtaking.
Why Opposing Trump Isn't Like the GOP Obstructing Obama: The political press won't stop gaslighting anti-Trump Democrats and progressives (Rolling Stone, 04/14/17)
Joshua Holland: In the 230-year period between the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and Barack Obama's election, opposition parties blocked a grand total of 68 presidential nominees. In the three years and 10 months between Obama's inauguration and then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's move to eliminate the filibuster for lower court nominees, Republicans had blocked 79 of them – that's 54 percent of the historic total in just under four years. ... Mitch McConnell, moved to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees after the Democrats filibustered Donald Trump's pick, Neil Gorsuch, who had come off as aloof and unresponsive during his confirmation hearings and offered no reason for refusing to meet with two (women) Democratic senators. ... Obama's nominee for the seat, Merrick Garland, is the only candidate in the history of the United States to be denied a hearing by the opposition. ... Democrats and progressives are outraged that Republicans effectively stole a seat that might have shifted the Court's ideological balance to the left for the first time since 1971. But the both-sides-do-it reporting we've seen makes their fury seem illogical, a simple case of sour grapes.
Letter attacking Kaine, Warner the height of hypocrisy (News Virginian [Waynesboro, VA], 04/14/17)
William D. Trent, Letter to the Editor: Republicans in the Senate “failed their mission” by refusing to even hold hearings for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, last year. In fact, they didn’t just fail their mission to the citizens they represent. They failed their mission — failed their solemn oath, even — to do the job mandated of senators by the U.S. Constitution.
Tester sided with 75 percent of Montanans on Gorsuch vote (Missoulian [MT], 04/13/17)
Evan Barrett: Tester believes that Gorsuch supports the massive intrusion of corporations into our election processes, a political disaster that has allowed almost unmeasurable corporate influence on campaigns and elections since the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision. That case made corporations “citizens” and declared their money “free speech.” Tester’s opposition to Gorsuch based on this was consistent with the position held by 75 percent of Montanans when they voted on these very questions on a state ballot issue in 2012.... Daines, however, in voting for Gorsuch, chose to ignore that 75 percent, ignore their directives about this important issue, and sided with the corporate elite over the people of Montana.
Will Justice Gorsuch help reverse Citizens United ruling? (Des Moines Register [IA], 04/13/17)
Dale Berry, Letter to the Editor: an article ... stated, “Gorsuch has developed a reputation as a strict ‘textualist’ and ‘originalist.’” The article goes on to define such person as “someone who reads statutes and the Constitution literally and seeks to interpret them through the eyes of their authors.” That being said, I would now expect Justice Gorsuch to move to reverse the Citizens United decision. Does anyone truly believe that our founding fathers had money in mind when they were guaranteeing our freedom of speech?
Democrats didn’t gratuitously forfeit the filibuster (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [PA], 04/13/17)
Harold Bloomfield, Letter to the Editor: It is laughable that Mr. Krauthammer was able to write about this subject without mentioning the Republicans’ unprecedented refusal to give Merrick Garland’s nomination a hearing and a vote.
Mr. Krauthammer further amuses by stating that President Barack Obama tried to “pack three liberal judges onto the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.” Mr. Obama apparently rankled Republicans by fulfilling his constitutional responsibility to nominate judges to fill existing vacancies.
Mr. Krauthammer also complains about liberal judges and their freewheeling, freestyle constitutional interpretation, conveniently forgetting about the Roberts court’s precedent-shattering decisions
Three myths about the Gorsuch Supreme Court confirmation fight: Erwin Chemerinsky (Los Angeles Daily News [CA], 04/13/17)
"Myth 1: Confirmation fights began with the defeat of the nomination of Robert Bork for the Supreme Court. This is simply false.
Confirmation fights began during George Washington’s presidency. ... Myth 2: Confirmation fights unduly politicize the Supreme Court.
The key democratic check on the court, an unelected body whose members have life tenure, is the nomination and confirmation process.... Myth 3: The elimination of the filibuster will lead to the appointment of more extreme Supreme Court justices.... The reality is that filibusters never have mattered with regard to Supreme Court nominations.
Grace Hauser: Neil Gorsuch's dysfunctional nuclear family (Cap Times [WI], 04/13/17)
"The GOP employed a “nuclear option” by reducing the number of votes needed to overcome a filibuster to a simple majority, thus rendering the filibuster completely useless against Supreme Court nominees. In doing so, they dramatically changed the nature of the Senate confirmation process by eliminating the element of debate. They undermined the checks and balances that were employed to vet every previous Supreme Court nominee. ... But it isn’t just the precedent that’s scary here; it’s Neil Gorsuch himself.... Gorsuch’s views fall far behind the rest of the country."
Diane Wood: This administration and Congress are the worst (Longmont Daily Times-Call [CO], 04/13/17)
Letter to the Editor: McConnell violated the Constitution when he refused to consider Obama's Supreme Court nominee for an entire year. Then he used the "nuclear option," ending the filibuster, to force the Senate approval of Gorsuch, an extreme conservative. He should be held accountable for these unconstitutional actions. Remember that it was Gorsuch who judged corporations to be persons. He also ruled to allow Hobby Lobby to withhold insurance coverage on portions of birth control because of religious reasons.
Letter to the editor: Sen. Collins chooses her party over welfare of the nation (Portland Press Herald [ME] , 04/12/17)
John Howard: Almost immediately after voting to repeal long-standing Senate rules designed to protect a minority position on lifetime appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, Susan Collins issued a statement professing her deep and abiding commitment to the 60-vote rule for legislation because it “helps preserve the tradition of the Senate of respecting minority views and increases likelihood of bipartisan work.” The depth of her hypocrisy is stunning. Collins often talks a moderate game, but her votes clearly and repeatedly demonstrate that she will sacrifice the long-term welfare of the nation for the short-term, partisan benefit of the Republican Party. Her treachery in this instance reminds me of Lewis Carroll’s character The Walrus mourning the loss of his friends, the oysters, after having just devoured them.
Congress should impeach Sen. Mitch McConnell (San Jose Mercury News [CA], 04/12/17)
Henry Bugatto, Letter to the Editor: Sen. Mitch McConnell violated his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution when he refused to hear Merrick Garland or any other Supreme Court nominee that President Obama might have sent to the Senate and instead refused for almost a year to do his job, all with no legal justification. He should be impeached.
Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen and will leave the legitimacy of our highest court in question. I will now call the latest justice Merrick Gorsuch to remind us of the theft of this seat.
Judge Gorsuch (Miami Herald, 04/12/17)
Jaime G Escalante, Letter to the Editor: It is a sad day for the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Neil Gorsuch is taking over a stolen seat.... The GOP denied the hearing of Judge Garland, nominated by President Obama. Then, after waiting many months, and a change in administration, the Senate changed the rules to get Gorsuch confirmed.
Senator Mitch McConnell, who orchestrated this mess, is a disgrace for the Senate.
Letter: No voice for the people (Salt Lake Tribune [UT], 04/11/17)
Steve Lewis: he Senate has plunged over the brink. The confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is just the tragic climax to this partisan ride.
For over 200 years, the Senate was able to confirm Supreme Court nominees with a 60-vote consensus. What just happened is called the "nuclear option" for a reason.
With polls showing voters strongly against this course by a 65 to 25 margin, there may never have been a time when Congress has been less responsive to the voice and will of the people. Clearly party and power are more important than country to them now.
NEIL BUCHANAN: THE CRAVEN REPUBLICAN HACKS WHO LET GORSUCH JOIN THE SUPREME COURT (Newsweek, 04/11/17)
Opinion by Prof. Neil H. Buchanan: the idea that the rejection of Robert Bork 's nomination to the Supreme Court by a bipartisan group of 58 senators in 1987 somehow justifies the Republicans' subsequent behavior in the Senate stands out as one of the most dishonest readings of history in current U.S. political discourse.... The only way to describe what happened to Bork as "politicizing" the hearings is to say that the Senate has no business asking about a nominee's views at all.... [Linda] Greenhouse also points out that there is a subsidiary myth that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg refused to give substantive answers during her confirmation hearings, which supposedly justifies Gorsuch's farcical nomination hearings last month. That is not what happened at all.... Senate Democrats had a choice.... they forced the Republicans to show that they have no principles and are willing to burn down the Senate in the service of their partisan agenda.
EDITORIAL: Gorsuch nomination a reminder of why we don’t like Congress (Powell Tribune [WY], 04/11/17)
"It was only about an hour after the announcement of Scalia’s death that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, proclaimed that Republicans would refuse to consider anyone Democratic President Barack Obama nominated for the open seat.... The Senate’s Republican leadership — a group that includes our own Sen. John Barrasso — was wrong to refuse to consider any Obama nominee and it was an abuse of the Senate’s power to “advise and consent.”... Republicans altered the Senate’s rules so they could confirm Gorsuch’s nomination with a simple 54-45 majority (rather than the normally required 60 votes). ... it seems to us that members of Congress should feel some obligation to play by the rules, rather than constantly searching for any opportunity or excuse to break them."
[Editorial] Gorsuch wrong for Supreme Court (Philadelphia Tribune [PA], 04/11/17)
"Gorsuch’s judicial record shows that he has consistently decided to protect corporations, and limit the rights of minorities, women, and workers.... Gorsuch’s “orignialsim” method of interpreting the constitution is absurd....the original understanding of the Constitution is unknowable, and even if it could be known, should not be binding today.... If constitutional interpretation must follow the specific intentions of the framers, as Gorsuch wrote, the results often will be unacceptable if not absurd.... Article II refers to the President and vice-president with the pronoun “he.”... The same Congress that ratified the Fourteenth Amendment also voted to segregate the District of Columbia public schools. Under an originalist philosophy, Brown vs. Board of Education was wrongly decided and laws mandating segregation were constitutional."