Congress ‘petty’ over court vacancy

Over the past few days, I have heard Democrats criticize Republicans for their unwillingness to consider any nomination to the Supreme Court from President Obama, no matter who it is, and have listened to Republicans express their desire to “delay, delay, delay” any nomination until after the next election. This entire controversy is petty, and while there are many problems facing our nation that are difficult to resolve, this should not be one of them. 

Both parties are to blame for making the nomination process so political, starting with the Democrats’ refusal to vote in favor of former President Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork, who would not have been my choice but was clearly qualified to serve as a Supreme Court justice.  

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It’s time for the president and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to meet and discuss an easy resolution to this problem so that nominees can be voted on without it becoming a political nightmare. Senators must put aside their own desire for who they would want to serve on the Supreme Court (as well as the lower federal courts) and focus instead on whether the particular nominee is qualified for the position.  

I would suggest that in this one instance, Obama appoint a consensus nominee to move forward with the business of the Supreme Court, and for all future nominees, the Senate approve presidential nominees who are competent and qualified to serve on the court.  

From Lew Lerman, Fairfield, Conn.


Judicial Redress Act will benefit all

At long last the House has passed the Judicial Redress Act. This needed legislation will form a critical part of a stable and trustworthy structure for free flow of data across borders, which is so essential to economic growth in our digital economy. Importantly, signing the Judicial Redress Act into law also will further harmonize U.S. and European privacy protections.

The legislation calls for granting foreign nationals protections that U.S. nationals enjoy under the 1974 Privacy Act — notably, the right to sue for intentional misuse of their personal information contained in U.S. law enforcement records. The president signing the Judicial Redress Act into law will help clear the way for the U.S. and European Union to sign the Data Privacy and Protection Agreement, which protects citizens’ privacy rights when law enforcement agencies cooperate on a trans-Atlantic basis. Additionally, it will provide a solid basis for law enforcement agencies to share information when it is necessary to prevent, investigate and prosecute serious crimes, including terrorism.

Leadership in both the House and Senate has been critical in reaching this point on this truly groundbreaking initiative. If President Obama seizes the opportunity to sign it into law, the results will benefit us all.

From Victoria A. Espinel, president and CEO, BSA | The Software Alliance, Washington, D.C.


Obama won't nominate AG Lynch

The one candidate that we can be sure President Obama will not nominate to replace Justice Antonin Scalia is Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

It would become obvious at the outset, and more so even at a polite confirmation hearing, that she would have to recuse herself, like Justice Elena Kagan has done, on all the hot-button cases pending before the court, such as on immigration, affirmative action, the Environmental Protection Agency and ObamaCare, because her department has been an advocate for the administration. It would become evident that the raison d’être for her nomination — to break any 4-4 tie — was disingenuous. 

From Paul Kamenar, Chevy Chase, Md.