What follows is the letter I wrote this morning to the republican senator from my state, Senator Rob Portman. Feel free to amend and use as a template to send to your own senator, if you feel so inclined.
21 September 2020
Dear Senator Portman …
I am writing to you today to ask that you withhold your vote on the confirmation of any candidate for the Supreme Court between now and January 20th. I’m sure you have received many such letters, as well as some by those who hold the opposite view, but please hear me out.
First, in February of 2016, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, when President Barack Obama nominated a very moderate judge, Merrick Garland, to fill Scalia’s seat, you stated in part …
“I have concluded that the best thing for the country is to trust the American people to weigh in and to have the confirmation process take place in a less partisan atmosphere. Awaiting the result of a democratic election, rather than having a nomination fight in this contentious election-year environment, will give the nominee more legitimacy …”
To change your mind about that now, when the country is even more divided than it was in 2016, is the ultimate hypocrisy and I must question your motives. I know that Mitch McConnell is an unconscionable sycophant of Donald Trump, as are many of your other colleagues, but I always thought you were better than that.
Throughout your nine-year tenure as a U.S. Senator representing Ohio, I have seen you as a moderate, and while I disagree with you on some things, I was proud when you changed your mind and came out in support of same-sex marriage and voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Granted, I’ve been disappointed by your stance on climate change … too little too late … and other issues such as abortion, but overall you have always seemed one of the better republicans in Congress.
Now, however, you appear to be willing to compromise the integrity of the United States Supreme Court, and I must ask you why? Do you not realize the implications of a court divided 6-3? Do you not realize that not only will Roe v Wade be endangered, and thus women’s rights, but also Obergefell v Hodges, thus endangering the rights of the LGBT community? Do you remember that the Court is supposed to provide checks and balances on the Executive branch, not simply rubber-stamp the president’s wishes?
I would like to remind you that you were elected to represent ALL the people of not only Ohio, but the United States. Donald Trump appears to believe that he is obligated only to those who slavishly support him, but I would like to think you are a better man than he is. Please remember that your constituency includes both democrats and republicans, as well as those like myself who are independent. Your constituency includes people of all races, and people of every and no religion. You do not solely answer to white, male, republicans, but to every man, woman and child, regardless of party affiliation, ethnicity or religion.
In closing, I ask you to seriously consider what I have said, seriously consider withholding your vote on Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, in order to give We the People an opportunity to have our voices heard. Thank you.
Jill Dennison, citizen, taxpayer, voter