Commentator M.D. Harmon (“Mitch McConnell should stick to his guns on Supreme Court vacancy,” March 25) joins the senator and many of his fellow Republicans in misrepresenting the history of Supreme Court nominees in election years.

Since 1900, the Senate has voted on eight Supreme Court nominees during an election year. These nominees, all confirmed, are Mahlon Pitney in 1912, Louis Brandeis in 1916, John Clarke in 1916, Benjamin Cardozo in 1932, Frank Murphy in 1940, William J. Brennan in 1956 and Anthony Kennedy in 1987.

Mr. Harmon and Republican lawmakers have twisted the facts to suggest that there is a tradition or a precedent for refusing a hearing to a sitting president’s nominee for the Supreme Court in his last year. There is not. What we are seeing instead is the last gasp of this Republican Congress’ obstructionism and an underlying disrespect for our first African-American president.

Susan Tobey


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