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GOP takes a page from the Dems' playbook on judicial appointments

Before the body of the late Justice Antonin Scalia was even buried, liberal Democrats were licking their chops that President Barack Obama would appoint one of their own to the Supreme Court, thereby establishing a fortress of self-proclaimed "progressives'' to impose their agenda on an electorate that strongly repudiated it in the last congressional election ("GOP's no-hire court," Feb. 14).

However, these plans hit the wall when Senate Republicans announced that no Supreme Court appointee of President Obama would be confirmed and that any such decision would wait until after the election.

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This announcement has been met with the usual righteous, or rather self-righteous, indignation of liberal Democrats and their cheerleaders at The Sun. How dare those nasty Republicans not confirm an Obama appointment?

Unfortunately, liberal Democrats are getting a taste of their own medicine. Near the end of President George W. Bush's first term, many of his judicial nominees to the federal circuit and district courts were, for the first time in history, filibustered by the Senate Democratic minority.

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A well qualified, Ivy League-educated Hispanic judge named Miguel Estrada was filibustered because Democrats did not want Mr. Bush to get credit for appointing a Hispanic to a prominent Circuit Court judgeship.

Who led the filibuster of those judicial nominees? None other than Sen. Harry Reid, who now is so loudly braying about how unfair Republicans are today.

Democrats also slow-walked Mr. Bush's nominees at the end of his second term. Who participated in this conduct? Current President Barack Obama.

Democrats have a long history of playing games with Republican nominees to the courts, from the "borking" of the late Robert Bork to the "high-tech lynching" of now Justice Clarence Thomas.

So please spare us the lecture of outrage over the political nature of judicial appointments in an election year. Politics has had an impact on the judicial selection and appointment process since the beginning of our Republic.

Should Republicans chose to not confirm any Obama nomination to the Supreme Court they would merely be taking a page from the Democrats' playbook.

Robert. C. Erlandson, Ellicott City

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