Opinion: Judge Neil Gorsuch should not accept a stolen Supreme Court seat

President Trump announces the Supreme Court nomination Tuesday of appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch, right.
(Carolyn Kaster / AP)

To the editor: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Democrat, should ask Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch one question at his hearings: Do you believe it is ethical for a justice to receive stolen property, in this case a seat that President Obama had the constitutional right to fill? (“When the GOP stole Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court seat, they set the stage for a miserable battle,” editorial, Jan. 31)

As a civil rights and criminal defense attorney, I know that in criminal law, the defendant who knowingly receives stolen property is just as guilty as the defendants who stole it. Any ethical judge should decline this seat until Merrick Garland, Obama’s choice, is seated, and then Gorsuch or any other Republican should be considered for the next seat.

The Democrats should filibuster this choice and fight with every fiber of their being or they will be guilty of letting the Republicans get away with stealing a Supreme Court seat, the consequences of which we will have to live with for decades.

Dave McLane, Pasadena



To the editor: Nothing exemplifies the arrogance of The Times Editorial Board more than its throwaway line regarding the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia that President Trump might appoint a “Scalia clone or someone worse.”

Your statement underscores the left’s intolerance of any dissent from its views. You may criticize others for alleged intolerance, but I submit that The Times should look in a mirror.

I agree that Obama’s nominee should have been given an up-or-down vote in the Senate and the Republicans were wrong to refuse even consideration of Garland. But that does not excuse your criticism of Scalia, who was widely respected in the legal profession even by those who disagreed with him.

The Times now sadly exhibits it prejudices not only on its editorial pages but also in its reporting.

Neil B. Martin, Los Angeles


To the editor: While I completely agree with your editorial, it omitted what is arguably the most serious consequence of the Republican gambit: the election of Donald Trump as president. The open seat on the court was a major issue during the campaign, and it provided the justification for many conservatives to vote for Trump even though they intensely disliked him.


While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the GOP seem to have won a victory with this nomination, their polarizing and dishonest ploy may yet come back to haunt them. Trump’s agenda includes taking down the same Republican establishment that handed him the election.

That includes McConnell.

Seth Jackson, San Marino



To the editor: With the next presidential election less than four years away, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee should not be considered.

Let the people speak! Wait until 2021!

Jordan Austin , Port Hueneme

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