Saturday, March 26, 2016

Nobody wants to do their job anymore

Our Congressman, the Honorable Andy Harris (R), parroted the Republican party line and supported the Republican senate's vow to sit on their hands and do nothing about President Obama's Supreme Court nomination.  Below is the letter I wrote Mr. Harris.  Considering it is an election year for him, maybe I'll get a response - probably a form letter thanking me for my interest in the government process and encouraging me to vote for him.

Please feel free to use the link above if you wish to express your thoughts to Mr. Harris.

Dear Honorable Andy Harris,

Recently, you commented on President Obama's appointment of Garland Merrick to the US Supreme Court with these words:
"Once again President Obama is playing politics with the future of this country by attempting to force the Senate to confirm a liberal Washington insider to the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment and the American people should not be denied a say in the direction the court will take for decades to come."
Now I don't have a big, fancy degree in history to understand the historical context and mindset of our Founding Fathers when they penned our supreme law of the land nor do I have one in constitutional law to understand how politicians twist and contort the document's wording today, but I think our Constitution is pretty straight forward on this one.  The President's job is to appoint someone to Supreme Court vacancies and the Senate's job is to say yea or nay to his nomination.  President Obama did his job.  The Senate is refusing to do theirs.  You support their vow for inaction.

Please help me understand by answering the following questions:

  • How is President Obama "playing politics" by doing exactly what our Constitution tells him to do?

    Nowhere in our Constitution can I find a "lame duck" clause nor can I find any federal law preventing a lame duck president from making appointments as our Constitution dictates.  Could you point me to the constitutional clause or the federal law that limits the president's responsibility to make appointments?  If there are no such clauses or laws, I reckon I'd have to say you and the Republican party are the ones playing politics.

  • Where in the Constitution does it say we, the people, have a say in who fills a Supreme Court vacancy?

    Nowhere in our Constitution can I find even a hint that the people should have a say in the nomination process.  Ok, there is one hint.  We vote every two years to fill the halls of Congress and move someone into the White House.  That staggered process of voting to fill the vacancies ensures we have fresh sets of voices we want - and we trust - to speak on our behalf.  What would make you think we have to wait for the next election to have our voices heard?  Do you think we made a mistake in the past few elections?

  • If the American people truly have a say, on what grounds have you decided the American people don't want a "liberal Washington insider" and, presumably, prefers another conservative Washington insider instead?

    I presume you asked your constituents what sort of Supreme Court justice they want.  Do you by chance still have the poll you used to make the claim that "the American people don't want a "liberal Washington insider"?  Lord knows no one asked me, but then again, no politician, including you, has ever asked for my opinion on anything.  So what do you really base your claim on?
  • How do you justify your Senate counterparts refusing to do their job, as defined by our Constitution, for almost a year?

    I'll admit, this questions stumps even me.  In the real world, anyone who refuses to do their job for almost a year is fired before their first week is up.  In the real world, anyone who encourages others not to do their job for almost a year is fired before their first week is up.  So how is it you can encourage our senators not to do their job and our senators can defiantly announce they will not do their job yet no one's getting fired?  Perhaps the American people and I should start making a list so that there's no doubt in anyone's mind what the American people are saying and want. 
    Dream job: Wouldn't it be cool if you could
    personally hand deliver this to some
    of those DC folks?

I'm not thrilled with President Obama's nomination.  In case my senators read this, I encourage them to vote nay on The Honorable Merrick's confirmation.  I find his apparent disregard for our Second Amendment troubling. 

But I do expect Congress to do its job and hold the confirmation hearings. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns and questions and I hope to hear from you with answers to my questions soon - preferably before November.

If you have any problems with the constitutional questions, I understand President Obama taught Constitutional law before he became President.  It's ok.  We the people - you know, the ones you think should have a voice - not only encourage, but also expect both parties to talk with each other and everyone to talk with the President.


Amended 31 OCT 16 to add:
Hon Andy Harris' response, in full, unedited, and without comment with the following exceptions:
  • Header resized to fit blog     
  • Name of addressee withheld 

October 31, 2016

Dear Mr. XXXXXX,

Thank you for sharing your concerns about the process of appointing a new Supreme Court Justice.  I very much appreciate your interest and your input.

With the passing of Supreme Court Justin Antonin Scalia, we lost a truly great American. I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and know that his death is a huge loss for the Court. His love for the law and defense of the Constitution has left an indelible mark on this nation. 

When a vacancy in the Supreme Court occurs, the process of filling the vacancy begins with the executive branch.  The President nominates a new Justice to fill the vacancy. As mandated by the Constitution, this nominee is then submitted to the Senate. If the Senate consents, the candidate becomes a Justice of the Supreme Court. 

President Obama has nominated Merrick B. Garland as a candidate to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court Justice, but the Senate has not confirmed the candidate. Justice Scalia once said, “the Court must be living in another world. Day by day, case by case, it is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize.”  I believe it is of the utmost importance that the Supreme Court defend the U.S. Constitution and protect principles such as the separation of powers, individual liberty, Second Amendment rights, and the rule of law.  

The confirmation of the next Supreme Court Justice will take place in the U.S. Senate, not in the House of Representatives. If you would like to make a comment on the appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice, you can contact Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD) at or Senator Ben Cardin (MD) at


Member of Congress
Andy Harris M.D.
Please do not reply to this email. Instead, please send all e-mail messages (including replies) through the web link: Email Andy.

Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

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