Dear Sen. Roy Blunt:
I read with interest your column published today in The Joplin Globe. I wondered what the fellow who can so often be seen standing right behind Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s left shoulder when McConnell steps up to a microphone would have to say.
You accuse the Democrats of wanting to pack the U.S. Supreme Court when you and your cohorts in the Senate, led by McConnell, did, in fact, pack that court and others. You accuse the Democrats of politicizing the courts when you and your cohorts have done more to politicize the Supreme Court and all of the federal courts than at any time in modern history.
You as an individual and as a group did those things by going along with McConnell in his successfully blocking so many of President Barack Obama’s nominations. (Just one of many examples is Thomas L. Halkowski’s April 10, 2014, nomination to fill a seat on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, when Judge Lynn Bush took “senior status” on Oct. 21, 2013. His nomination was twice voice voted out of the Judiciary Committee but was still pending a confirmation vote on the floor on Jan. 3, 2017.)
You and I both know that Merrick Garland was only the tip of the iceberg. That is why you are able to brag that you confirmed 234 judges in four years. This is what you are talking about when you say, “Liberals were upset at how the Senate has exercised the constitutional responsibility to advise on and consent to judicial appointments.”
What you did was not honorable, not in the best interest of the country and not something you would have wanted done if the Democrats had tried to wield such raw political power to politicize the third branch of our government and, in so doing, upset the balance of the Constitution.
Those nominees you confirmed did not have to be considered even qualified to get your vote or that of your Republican cohorts as long as they were relatively young and met the requirements put forth by the Federalist Society. Think Leonard Steven Grasz, Charles Goodwin, Holly Teeter, Jonathan Kobes, Lawrence VanDyke and Justin Walker, the 38-year-old (at the time) poster boy and protégé of McConnell from Kentucky, whom you all confirmed first when he was deemed by the American Bar Association as “unqualified,” and who then, after only seven months of experience on the federal bench, was promoted by confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.
Your vote, along with the votes of your Republican colleagues, to confirm Amy Coney Barrett seven days before an election after refusing to confirm Merrick Garland seven months before an election is the most blatant evidence of your court packing.
But your part in withholding confirmation to many qualified nominees and then pushing through confirmations for political hacks goes far beyond just what you’ve done to the Supreme Court. You’ve got some nerve telling the Democrats to be careful about “taking wrecking balls to vital American institutions for short-term partisan gain.”
You treat us as though you think we are stupid.