An Answer To My Letter …

You may remember the letter I wrote to Senator Rob Portman a week or so ago regarding the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  One thing I will say about Senator Portman is that he always responds to my emails, and this was no exception.  On Saturday I received this response …

rob-portmanDear Jill,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I appreciate your thoughts on the matter and the opportunity to respond.

As the second woman in history confirmed to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg served our country in this important role for 27 years. Her death on September 18, 2020 created a vacancy on the Court.  The U.S. Constitution provides that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint… Judges of the supreme Court.” Considering we are less than two months from a presidential election, there is controversy regarding whether the Senate should take up a nomination before the election.  The Senate’s historical precedent demonstrates that when the same party controls the presidency and the Senate and a vacancy arises during a presidential election year, the Senate almost always confirms a nominee.

In the more than two dozen vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court that have arisen during a presidential election year in our nation’s history, the sitting president made a nomination in every single case.  Leader McConnell has said that he will hold a vote on any nominee President Trump sends to the Senate, and I intend to fulfill my role as a U.S. Senator and judge that nominee based on his or her merits. The president was elected in 2016, in part, based on a commitment to nominate men and women to the judiciary who would fairly and impartially apply the law and protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, not advance public policy goals by legislating from the bench.  Likewise, in both 2016 and 2018, the American people have re-elected a Republican Senate majority to help President Trump fulfill that commitment.

In 2016, when the vacancy occurred following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, I said “the president has every right to nominate a Supreme Court justice … But the founders also gave the Senate the exclusive right to decide whether to move forward on that nominee.” Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposing-party president’s Supreme Court choice when the vacancy occurred in a presidential election year.  In contrast, when the presidency and the Senate are controlled by the same party – as it is today –the precedent is for the president’s nominees to get confirmed. In the occasions that a vacancy has occurred when the President and the Senate are of the same party in a presidential election year, the Senate has confirmed the nominee and filled the seat in every instance but one where there was a bipartisan ethics concern. I look forward to seeing who President Trump plans to nominate and thoroughly assessing his or her qualifications for this important role.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. For more information, I encourage you to visit my website at portman.senate.gov . Thank you, and please keep in touch.

Sincerely,

Rob Portman
U.S. Senator

My response, if I felt inclined to respond, would be to remind him that the United States Supreme Court is intended, by the Constitution he places so much stock in, to be non-partisan.  They are supposed to judge cases by their constitutionality, not by how the results play into the hands of one political party or another.  What I hear in Senator Portman’s response is that he will continue licking the boots of the Ass in the Oval Office and will vote to confirm the nominee, for he hasn’t the cojones to stand up to either Donald Trump or Mitch McConnell.  I hope I’m wrong.

21 thoughts on “An Answer To My Letter …

  1. Hello Jill. The response letter makes use of the Republican talking point created to justify filling the SCOTUS seat now vacant, but was never used during the 10 months the Republicans held up the Merrick Garland nomination. I did a google search and listened to a lot of video clips from a lot of Republicans at that time. Yes I suffered. In every clip the excuse offered was the same, the people should get the right to decided. The people should have a voice. There was nothing said about what party control what branch of government and why. It was always the people deserve the right to have a voice. Now we are in an election with voting already started, the people are using their voice, but the Republicans don’t want to wait to see what the people want. Why? Because they know they will lose, and they are determined to shift the court and cement minority rule in the US for 30 to 40 years to come. This is not a conservative country, nor a Republican country. The Republicans are a minority party that is dying out. The only way they can keep any hold on power is through voter suppression and gerrymandering. They do not want democracy, they do not want to serve the people, they want power. They think control of the courts will give them that even as they lose political power. Hugs

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  2. Sounds like a canned response written by a staff member to give liberals the brush off. The Democratic Party can do alot more to postpone the confirmation until after the election.
    TYT has the latest breakdown:

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  3. I commend the Senator for taking the time to respond. Not all of them do that. But boy, talk about twisting in the wind trying to justify this nomination. He’s full of crap Jill. I’ve heard them all try to explain why this nomination is ok, but Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland wasn’t. There was well over 240 days till the 2016 election. Now, we have less than 40 days. Give me a break!
    If I’m not mistaken, I seem to remember Mitch McConnell hinting that even if Hillary would have won, he would have held up the nomination…indefinitely. R’s, as usual, don’t give a rat’s ass about anything other than power. My God, when are Dems gonna start fighting like they do? I have my doubts that they ever will.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Agreed … he has always responded to my emails and letters, for which I do commend him. But, I used to respect Portman, thought he was a cut above the rest, but now it seems he’s gone full boot-licker. I also wrote to him after the impeachment trial to express my displeasure that he didn’t vote to convict when the evidence was overwhelming, and his response was similar to this one. Sigh.

      As for ol’ Moscow Mitch … seriously, somebody needs to just shoot him and put him out of our misery! He’s far outlived his usefulness on this planet! I hope the democrats are going to put up a good fight and soon, else we will be exactly where the German people were in 1933.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It sounds like you are not. All rhetoric and double talk to simply state the obvious. When the cards are stacked against the minority in the Senate, the ‘ruling party’ will double down and he is vague about those ‘past instances’ which I am quite certain were most, if not all, conservative majority rule. All they know is legal double talk. Except Trump. He’s just a blatant asshole, what they all wish they had the cajones to be. 🤬

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Jill, when the normal process is not followed, take it to the bank it is political. My reaction to Portman is this sets a horrible precedence. We citizens ask you to follow normal process. You set a precedence in 2016, that was political and we did not seat a judge worth seating, a moderate, that the GOP liked before. Then unlike judges, you ignored the precedence. This is why we must follow normal process, because it is the only thing we can count on. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I continue to question the benefits of writing our “congress people.” Although they are SUPPOSED to be representing their constituents, most of them act according to their own personal biases and “outside” influences (e.g., lobbyists, the president’s preferences, their pocketbooks, etc.).

    Portman’s response follows this perspective to a “T”.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well, they do keep track of how many letters, emails and phone calls they get on a given subject, so at least we are letting them know our opinions. You’re right that they are often more swayed by outside influences, wealthy donors, etc. than by our voices, but I think we must keep making our voices heard anyway. Otherwise, we just … give up … and I can’t do that.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A recent comment regarding this which gives me reason to hope – perhaps the other justices on SCOTUS will remember the oaths which they took to be fair, impartial and non – partisan in their service to WE THE PEOPLE. Perhaps they will find the balls to work for us and not the POTUS.

    Liked by 4 people

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