Hearings for the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett began Oct. 12, 2020.

With the election underway, the nomination by President Trump and the Republican Party has sparked considerable national controversy, with 57 percent of US voters agreeing a nominee should put forward by the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

The Gazette Record reached out to readers via Facebook to get their response. As of Oct. 12, the post received 116 comments, the majority of which supported President Trump’s move to nominate before the election.

Those who opposed the nomination cited the Republican Party’s blocking of former President Barack Obama’s nominee of Judge Merrick Garland in 2016. Others in opposition cited Judge Barrett’s religious views and her pro-life stance.

Most impressive though, was what may be a historic level of civil discourse having occurred via social media, between St. Maries resident Chris Streissguth and St. Maries resident Sandy Kennelly, which in place of a selection of representative comments is included, in entirety, below:

“The president is elected for four years not three. Also, when Obama was in office it was a Democrat president with a Republican Senate. So it was conflicted. At this time the people have elected both a Republican controlled Senate and Republican president. We have had a pretty liberal and left-leaning Supreme Court for a while, I do believe we need to balance it back to the center with more conservative views,” Mr. Streissguth said.

“Chris Streissguth, the Republicans made no such distinction in 2016 when they refused to follow Constitutional procedure at that time. They simply said—and the quotes by all the Senators can easily be found with a quick Google search—no Supreme Court vacancy should be filled in an election year. There was no mention about this being the case because there was a split party government at that time. They made up a rule then and now they are changing that rule to justify not following it. These Republicans have proven they disrespect the Constitution and will ignore the Constitution when it suits their purposes. Yes, they have the legal authority to proceed now on President Trump’s nomination, but they are total hypocrites if they do so,” Ms. Kennelly replied.

“Sandy Kennelly, McConnell argued that not since 1888 had the Senate confirmed a Supreme Court nominee by an opposing party’s President to fill a vacancy that arose in an election year. This is from a time magazine article, see here: time.com/5892574/senate-republicans-supreme-court-vote/,” Mr. Streissguth replied.

“Chris Streissguth, If you read the article you cite, you will see that Mitch McConnell said, on the day Justice Scalia died, in February 2016, that a new justice should be nominated by the new president after the election because the American people deserve a say in the replacement and the upcoming election provides them that voice. There was no discussion in 2016 about split party government being a factor in the rule he and other Republicans decided to make. The quote you cite was made by Mitch McConnell this year. And you will also see in this article that Mitch McConnell was inaccurate in making this statement. A Democratic Senate confirmed Ronald Regan’s nomination of Justice Kennedy in the final year of Reagan’s term. So I stand by my judgment that Republicans only respect the Constitution when it suits them and that they are total hypocrites by pushing forward with confirmation of this nomination while the election is already underway,” Ms. Kennelly replied.

“Sandy Kennelly, I wish I had more time to do more research. But life isn’t so easy. I will concede to you. Thank you for the conversation. I wish more people would discuss things instead of name calling. Thank you very much,” Mr. Streissguth replied.

“Chris Streissguth, Thank you, too! I agree that as citizens, we need to be able to discuss these kinds of things without getting angry with or slinging mud at those who might disagree, or have a different perspective on an issue,” Ms. Kennelly replied.

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