The Sept. 26 Gazette offered its readers an editorial bemoaning the impending vote in the U.S. Senate to confirm federal appellate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Gazette “missed the boat” for the following reasons.
There is nothing unusual regarding President Donald Trump’s reasonable expectation to have the Republican controlled Senate confirm Judge Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Those who deplore the fact that a Republican Senate refused to take up President Barack Obama’s 2016 nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland, ignore the fact that it has long been the unwritten rule that a President’s nominee will not be given a hearing by the Senate in the last year of a President’s term of office, unless the President’s party also controls the Senate. The rationale for such a practice is obvious and applies to both parties. If the majority party in the Senate wins the November election for the presidency and retains the Senate majority, the incoming administration will more likely have preserved the right to nominate the Justice to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat. On the other hand, the last time a president in Mr. Obama’s position (minority party in the Senate) was able to fill an open seat of the Supreme Court in his last year in office was 1888, 132 years ago!
It would be a breach of the Senators’ duties to their constituents not to advance the nomination.