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    Chipping beneath the patina of Trump’s court pick

    Whether sitting president is above law should be deal-breaker question

    Setting aside the hypocrisy given his personal role as coauthor of the Starr report, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s argument in his 2009 law review article that the indictment and trial of a sitting president “would cripple the federal government, rendering it unable to function with credibility in either the international or domestic arenas” is laughable as applied to Donald Trump, who has repeatedly shown what he is really spending his time on: Roseanne Barr, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s NBC ratings, a morning TV show host’s supposed plastic surgery, Meryl Streep, and on and on.

    Kavanaugh’s previous analysis was clearly based on an assumption that the individual embodying the executive branch was someone who actually took the job seriously, and it withers under scrutiny as a general proposition. As a result, Kavanaugh should make clear that he would employ this reasoning only if it squared with the actual facts on the ground; otherwise, regardless of his qualifications (or any other potential issues), he can and should be rejected by the Senate for this reason alone, since that would show that he is predisposed — and biased in the sitting president’s favor — on an issue likely to come before him on the bench.

    Raymond P. Ausrotas


    A gentleman and a scholar,
    but so what?

    Re “At Harvard, he’s Professor Kavanaugh” (Page A1, July 11): Brett Kavanaugh is, by many accounts, a gentleman, a scholar, and a judge of singular technical skill. I wonder how that is even remotely material.


    The same was said of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney by Watertown’s own George Ticknor Curtis, whose heroic brother Benjamin dissented in Dred Scott v. Sandford and resigned from the Supreme Court over the immorality of the decision.

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    “He was indeed a great magistrate,” George wrote of Taney, “and a man of singular purity of life and character.”

    Jim Jordan

    West Roxbury

    Those ‘moderate’ Republicans? They’re enablers

    Re “Collins no rebel on court nominees” (Page A1, July 10): The Globe describes Susan Collins of Maine and several other senators as “moderate” Republicans. It has done the same with our own Governor Baker. The truth is, the species is extinct. The phrase is an oxymoron. Such politicians and voters ought to be rightly identified as “enabler Republicans” unless they are in active opposition to the morally void, financially corrupt, racist regime of Donald Trump.

    The term “moderate” is an example of dangerous denial and confers upon such people a patina of independent thought and action. In fact, the more extreme a party, the greater latitude we give to those who are simply passive in opposition. I encourage the Globe to employ greater truth in labeling.

    Robert Shuman