TERRI EVERETT: How quickly people forget history

To the editor,

How quickly James Roberts forgets. He calls Senate Republicans’ refusal to consider a President’s nominee to the Supreme Court scandalous and unprecedented. He mentions that GOP Senators claim a Democrat-controlled Senate would do the same thing to a Republican President. 

 Mr. Roberts loudly disagrees with that statement, saying he has no idea how Democrats would react if the scenario was reversed.

Here’s some political history worth remembering. In 2007 New York Senator Chuck Schumer demanded Democrats reject any George W. Bush nominee if a vacancy emerged during his last 18 months in office. Even though President Bush never had the opportunity to appoint anyone, Schumer recommended to the American Constitution Society to not confirm a Supreme Court nominee except in extraordinary circumstances. 

 Stepping further back in history, Joe Biden was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 1992 when George H.W. Bush was President. Democrats controlled the Senate, and they were worried a Justice might resign before the election. 

 Here are Joe Biden’s words to the Senate floor the day before the Supreme Court was set to leave for recess, “It is my view that if a Supreme Court Justice resigns tomorrow, or within the next several weeks, or resigns at the end of the summer, President Bush should consider following the practice of the majority of his predecessors and not name a nominee until after the November election is completed.”

Then Senator Joe Biden demanded the president not send any nominees to the Senate.

The current refusal to consider a Supreme Court nominee until after an election is neither scandalous or unprecedented. The idea has been floated around before–by a Democrat-controlled Senate.

Terri Everett

Big Rapids

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