And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that by the time this gets into print, you will probably know who President Trump has nominated to fill the upcoming vacancy on the Supreme Court.

As I began to write this column nine days earlier, I mused that of all the people I would not want to be for the next several weeks it would be that nominee. His or her entire experience of a lifetime will become fair, or perhaps unfair, game for the United States senators who will oppose the nomination.

Lynda Waddington in Sunday’s Cedar Rapids Gazette had an editorial on the subject. More on that later.

One comment she made had me wondering where she was in past hearings. She suggested that until recently “disagreements have largely stopped short of questioning the political independence” (of court nominees.)

Does recently include the “Borking” of nominee Robert Bork by the vicious personal attacks from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy?

And Justice Clarence Thomas, who is black, described the experience as “a high tech lynching.”

In debate and discussion classes in high school and at university, I heard that often it is necessary to re-state the opposing position in order to have one’s contrary position be made clear.

In her editorial, Waddington blamed Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. McConnell for playing politics with President Obama’s nomination for a vacancy by not allowing a vote because it was a presidential election year. She did not mention that that was called the “Biden rule” because it was proposed by Veep Joe Biden a couple years earlier.

This is an off-year election. Several justices have been given hearings under those conditions, the latest one by Pres. Obama in August 2010.

Waddington blames McConnell for eliminating the 60-vote rule in the senate for confirmation. She does not mention that it was Sen. Harry Reed who conducted that maneuver for all other federal judges four years earlier, thus breaking the precedent that had been senate policy, but is not constitutionally prescribed.

A couple of female Republican senators were debating withholding support of the nomination as of today.

Three Democrat senators voted for Trump’s first nomination, Neil Gorsuch. Would they dare incur the wrath of their party’s leadership and the excoriation of the national media and do so again?

All in all, the hearings should make for great television viewing.

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