Letters to the Editor

Are Democrats the only ones allowed to change the rules in the Senate?

President Donald Trump watches as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy administers the judicial oath to Justice Neil Gorsuch in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 10, 2017. Holding the Bible is Gorsuch’s wife, Marie Louise Gorsuch.
President Donald Trump watches as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy administers the judicial oath to Justice Neil Gorsuch in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 10, 2017. Holding the Bible is Gorsuch’s wife, Marie Louise Gorsuch. The Associated Press

The so-called nuclear option invoked by the Republican-led Senate to seat Justice Neil Gorsuch is not a 200-year-old Senate rule as proclaimed by Clement Salvadori in his recent letter to the editor (“ ‘Nuclear option’ on Supreme Court confirmation raises questions about Constitution,” April 16), but a rule established in 2013 by Democrat Harry Reid to approve some of President Barack Obama’s nominees. When looking back, Clarence Thomas was seated to the Supreme Court with only 52 votes to confirm.

It appears that the Democrats have also forgotten the “Biden Rule” as it applies to Mr. Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland. Back in 1992 when George H.W. Bush was president, Joe Biden, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was quoted in a Senate speech saying, “Action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.”

It seems that changing Senate rules is only a problem when it is the Republicans that do so.

Ralph Bush, Arroyo Grande

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