Letter to the Editor

Apply the correct analogy

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Last week the serial anti-Trump writer of "Letters to the Editor" used faulty reasoning in his letter. His concern was that President Trump was wrong to nominate a Justice to the United States Supreme Court, and that the Senate would be wrong to vote on the nomination.

The writer used as his justification an incorrect similar situation in a 2016 case when the Republican Senate did not conduct a Supreme Court nominating hearing for Democratic President Barrick Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland. In 2016 the President and Senate majority were of different parties. The difference is now there is a Republican President and a Republican Senate, unlike the case in 2016.

Presidents are elected for 4 years, not 3 years, 8 months. The President has a constitutional right and duty to place a Supreme Court nomination before the Senate. The Senate has a Constitutional right and duty to take action, but exactly what action is taken is up to the politics of the situation. This time the Senate has a Republican majority and has decided to hold a Judicial Committee hearing for nominee Amy Coney Barrett and, if the hearing is successful, to report the nomination to the full Senate for confirmation.

The historical norm is that the Senate will fill a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year if the President and the Senate are of the same political party. In a thorough examination of the historical record for a recent National Review article, Dan McLaughlin cataloged all such cases. There have been 19 cases in which a president of one party nominated a justice for approval by a Senate controlled by the same party in an election year. Only two of these nominees Abe Fortas for chief justice and Homer Thornberry to fill Fortas's seat, both in 1968 were not confirmed. Since 1888 the Senate has consistently filled a vacancy during an election year when the President and Senate government were of the same party.

Democrats have warned us they will take drastic action if Joe Biden is elected and they gain control of the Senate. First, they will repeal the 60 percent filibuster rule, so only 51 votes in the Senate is needed to take action. (They already control the House.) Second, they will pack the Supreme Court with enough justices they will control every issue that comes before the court. Third, they will make the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico states so they will have four more Democrats for a majority in the Senate. This means the House, Senate, and president will be controlled by Democrats who will enact everything they want. The Republicans will never regain control of the United States Government.

Phil Petersen

Okoboji