Dear Honorable Senators:
I'm a registered Republican in North Carolina. In light of the current threats our nation faces and what I view as the failure of President Obama's foreign policy I had planned to vote Republican this year in the presidential, senate and congressional races in my state and district. The reaction by many of you, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is causing me to rethink the wisdom of such votes.
Our Constitution gives the duty of nominating justices to the Supreme Court to the President. It doesn't say anything about suspending that duty when elections are almost a year away. It doesn't say anything about the political party or ideology of the President having to match that of a majority in the Senate. Your duty, as senators, is to advise and consent, one would assume based on the merits of a particular nominee. To make a statement that no nominee will be considered for nearly a full year to give our party a chance to capture the White House first is not only an unprecedented action in our history, but I firmly believe it subverts our system of checks and balances. It subverts the Constitution you are sworn to uphold.
I am still very cognizant of the uniquely dangerous external threats our nation now faces. However, I see your proposed action as an internal threat to our system of government and our democracy. Those supporting the idea of blocking any nomination for the next year claim they are waiting to allow the people to decide. The people did decide by electing President Obama not once but twice, and by a sizable margin each time. His term is not up. Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed in 1988, an election year, and by a 97-0 vote.
If you choose to carry out your threat I honestly feel I have no choice but to vote Democratic in November, and to do all I can to explain why I, a moderate Republican, have made that choice. I would have no choice but to do everything in my power to persuade others to do the same. I am hoping that, in your wisdom, you decide that the best course of action is to give whomever President Obama nominates a fair confirmation hearing and a vote based on qualifications, not an ideological litmus test, as has been done in the past.
Caitlyn M. Martin