A Letter To Senator Rob Portman

I mailed this letter to Senator Portman today and thought posting it here might encourage others to write their Senators.

Dear Senator Portman,

I am writing to urge you to reconsider your public position to not vote on the confirmation of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

The broad consensus is that Judge Garland is wholly qualified to join the Supreme Court. There are few detractors to Judge Garland. As Richard Painter, former legal aide to President George W. Bush recently said: “Judge Garland is just the kind of candidate we would have advised President Bush to nominate if he had been in this situation. A proven moderate, he has enjoyed widespread Republican support in the past. As a former prosecutor, he is often sympathetic to the prosecution in criminal cases. He has aggressively and thoroughly prosecuted terrorists.” Judge Garland seems to be the ideal candidate for the Supreme Court.

There is no rationalization for delay. You argue, along with many Republicans, that the people should have a “say” in this choice, as if the current Senate and President were not elected by the people. You also argue there is precedent to wait, but Professor Timothy Huebner of Rhodes College has refuted this: “in cases when vacancies have arisen during election years, the weight of history is clearly on the side of the president naming a successor and the Senate acting on that nomination.”

Delaying seems to be political gesture and not readily defendable. Even Chief Justice Roberts recognized the actions of the Senate as politically motivated: “the process is being used for something other than ensuring the qualifications of the nominees.”

Given the candidates vying to be the next President, one has to wonder (and worry) about the type of person that might be nominated in 2017. One can imagine the Senate rejecting nominee after nominee, until a moderate like Judge Merrick is nominated.

The work of the Supreme Court is too important to wait. Join your seven Republican colleagues in meeting with Judge Garland. Call on the leadership of the Senate to vote on the confirmation of Judge Garland.