Bob, Bob, Bob …
I was so happy that you were proud of Neil Gorsuch being sworn in as the next U.S. Supreme Court justice. However, not only did you miss the mark, you missed the broad side of the barn.
You wanted Gorsuch confirmed per the Constitution, but the Senate had already failed to abide by Constitution in not giving Merrick Garland a vote or even a hearing. That, Bob, is a violation of the Constitution of the United States of America.
I don’t have a problem with Gorsuch. I have a problem with the process of how he ended up on the country’s highest court.
Article II, Section 2 states that the president “… shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint … judges of the Supreme Court. …” It does not include the caveat “except in the final year of a president’s term.”
The Constitution is a living, breathing document that lays out the way this country is to be governed. The founding fathers set up an entirely brand new government that has lasted the test of time—until now.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, made it his mission beginning in 2009 to make Barack Obama a one-term president. When in his second term Obama nominated Garland after Antonin Scalia passed away last year, it took McConnell approximately one hour before announcing that the next judge would be nominated by the new president.
No consideration of whether Garland was qualified. No consideration of whether Garland was a right, left or center justice. It didn’t matter in McConnell’s alternate view of reality.
This weird reality of McConnell’s also stopped 79 of Obama’s federal judicial appointments, between 2009 and 2013, with filibusters when the Democrats finally used the “nuclear option” to get those appointments through. McConnell’s 79 filibusters are more than the 68 in the previous 228 years of the Senate.
By changing the rules of the Senate, McConnell showed himself to be the hypocrite he is. His previous statements included that he would never use the nuclear option, unless there were 67 senators in favor. The changes passed with only 51 senators.
He also violated Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech when he stopped her from reading a letter from Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor. King had pointed out the racist history of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions during the debate on his nomination to become attorney general.
The late Sen. Robert Byrd, who wisely recanted his own racist history, used to carry around a copy of the U.S. Constitution in his jacket pocket and would often quote from it on the Senate floor. Perhaps it is time for someone to give McConnell a copy so he can be reminded that he is there to service his state and the people of the United States—not a self-serving ego trip.
As my mother would say, “We are being railroaded,” and my father would state, “This ain’t no way to run a railroad.”
So Bob, I’m glad you are happy about McConnell’s decision. Unfortunately, much of America is repulsed by him.
What America needs are leaders who are prepared to put ideology and party aside and be more concerned with what people in the 21st century need—not make sure the United States stays in the backwaters of 18th century Alabama.
Since this column is about the Constitution, I have to take the opportunity to point out—in response to the comments of columnist Brian Joondeph’s about healthcare in this week’s Villager—that there are also no provisions in the Constitution for police, fire, water, sewer, trash, schools or roads.
So here is my suggestion. Let’s allow the free market to provide those services. That way, when one is burglarized he or she can call the private police department of their choice and pay the full market value for the services.
Of course, if one is murdered their estate would have to pick up the entire cost of the investigation, trial and incarceration of the culprit.
So much for inheritance tax.
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