Friday, March 18, 2016

An Open Letter To My Senators

Michael Bennet
United States Senator
(Democrat) Colorado

Cory Gardner
United States Senator
(Republican) Colorado

Dear Honorable Sirs:

I feel compelled to write you this morning after watching the news this morning and seeing your colleague, the Honorable Mr. McConnell making a thoroughly curious assertion on the news. In the interview, the leader of the Senate said that “the American people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice.”

Admittedly, I am not as educated in the meaning of the Constitution as presumably the gentleman from Kentucky is – I have to depend on my High School Civics education from the Miami School System – but I seem to remember that the voice of the American people in the selection of the Judiciary is an indirect one only. My understanding is that “We the People of the United States” participate in this process by electing the Legislative branch of government (your branch), directly. It is also my recollection that we elect the Executive branch (the President and Vice President) indirectly by voting for electors in the Electoral College.

There is, to the best of my recollection no provision in the constitution for “We the People” to have a say in the selection of the Federal Judiciary. Other than that we have already had, that is, by electing the two branches of government that appoint and approve the third.

According to the education I received, which again I will admit is probably not as extensive or as comprehensive as your own, Article 2 of the Constitution defines the powers of the Executive Branch which, as I recall, includes the power to nominate judges to The Bench. I believe, that in Article 1 of that same document, where the powers of the Legislature are defined, it says that your branch has the power to advise and consent to those nominations. I do not recall there being a provision to abdicate this responsibility to the public as a whole or to shirk your responsibility entirely by simply refusing to perform your constitutionally defined responsibilities. Again, your knowledge of the constitution is probably more up-to-date and comprehensive than mine, so I would love to hear your take on this point.

The reason for this open letter is to implore you to not shirk your responsibilities. Any non-governmental worker who refused to do their appointed tasks would not be in their position long. I wonder how it is that the Legislature can be so determined to do so little and still expect to keep their jobs. Since both your parties claim to hold such reverence for the Constitution – or at least for the second amendment thereto – I would again remind you: There is a lot of really good stuff not in the Second Amendment that you are also supposed to be doing.

Please use what influence you may have on your colleague, The Honorable Mr. McConnell, and demand that the Senate carry out its constitutionally mandated responsibility. I am not asking you to confirm the current candidate to the Supreme Court;, that would be presumptuous of me. I am asking only that the senate do its job and consider the candidate.

The American people thank you. The people who elected you from the great state of Colorado thank you. And I thank you for your time and for your service to Colorado and the United States of America.

Donald J. Bergquist
March 18, 2016
Lakewood, Colorado  

United States of America

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