Rob Natelson, the former UM law professor and current Constitutional Fellow at the Independence Institute in Denver, returned from a five month Sabbatical on Monday and answered questions from listeners on Talk Back.

One subject that Natelson has been writing on recently is the nomination and confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

One caller asked why Merrick Garland never received the same treatment when his name was put forward by then-President Obama.

“President Obama for reasons of his own, I think political reasons, decided to allow this nomination to hang fire month after month after month and there was no reason to do that,’ said Natelson. “He should have withdrawn the nomination, maybe consulted with leaders of the Senate, and tried to come up with someone who was acceptable to both parties. That would have been, I think the statesmen-like thing to do.”

Natelson was very upset about how the social media companies like Twitter and Facebook have been censoring stories specifically about conservative topics and articles, using the following example.

“If the telephone company told you whom you could call and what you could say on the call, I mean, presumably Americans wouldn't stand for it,” he said. “Why do we allow what are purportedly platforms to censor what we say and to whom we can say it? If they are going to be publishers, and they're not platforms, then they have to be subject to the rules of publishers. Since they apparently are publishers then their libel protection should be withdrawn.”

Natelson said the process of nominating and confirming Supreme Court justices is political by design of the founders.

“When we elect presidents and when we elect senators, we do so partly from either expectations or promises about what they'll do in appointing justices,” he said. “We have a president who promised to appoint traditional justices. We also have a Senate that promised to confirm only traditional justices, and so why would we expect the people's decision to be overruled because of the preferences of someone who has just died? It doesn't make any sense.”

Natelson said the time-honored tradition of casting votes on one day for an election has been done away with using the COVID 19 pandemic to force mail-in ballots, opening up many difficulties.

“I have a big problem with early voting,” he said. “The reason for a uniform day is to prevent the kinds of political gamesmanship that we see when people can vote anytime over a long stretch of time.”

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