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Letters: Dems have foiled nominees, too

President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy

President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California leave a meeting with House Democrats on Capitol Hill in Washington to discuss the global trade talks on June 12, 2015. Credit: AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

I read with interest Newsday’s editorial “Honor of court is at stake” [March 17]. I found it interesting that only Republicans were cited for their intent to block the president’s Supreme Court nominee. Democrats have a long history of doing the same thing .

In 2007, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said President George W. Bush shouldn’t get to pick any more Supreme Court justices. Schumer didn’t want the court to have too many conservative justices. This was 19 months before Bush’s term would end! In 2004, Schumer stated that he would do everything in his power to stop the nomination of Justice Charles Pickering to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. A Democratic filibuster thwarted Bush’s nominee.

In 2006, then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) voted in favor of a filibuster, which ultimately didn’t occur, that was proposed by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) to block Justice Samuel Alito’s Supreme Court nomination. Kennedy also led the charge against Miguel Estrada, nominated by Bush to the Court of Appeals.

The chief of all obstructions was in 1987, when Kennedy and then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) led an attack on Robert Bork, who had been nominated by President Ronald Reagan. The verbal assault was so bad that the Oxford English Dictionary defines the verb “bork” as obstructing someone, especially a candidate for public office, through systematic defamation or vilification.

In 1989, Democratic groups vowed to “bork” Justice Clarence Thomas, who was nominated by George H.W. Bush for the Supreme Court. Thomas was approved but endured vicious personal attacks.

Don Karlsen, Farmingdale

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