The U.S. Constitution: It’s time to read it!
Rather than rely on the spin the left-leaning mainstream media (MSM) are putting on what the U.S. Constitution says about the voting powers and duties of U.S. Senators, let’s check to see what the Constitution actually does say:
First of all, each of the 100 Senators is given one vote. Therefore, even the village idiot should understand that the vote of one Senator is not supposed to count for more or less than the vote of another Senator. Furthermore, it can be assumed that Senators are elected to the Senate to vote, not just talk.
Moreover, if a small group of Senators can figure out a way to keep other Senators from voting, what they have done is to disenfranchise the voters back home who sent their Senators to Washington, D.C. to vote.
That said, it is clear that Senators are supposed to vote for legislation or for presidential nominees they favor, and to vote against legislation or presidential nominees they do not favor.
So, let’s take a close look at the mandate given to U.S. Senators with regard to presidential nominees to the judiciary and officers of the executive branch of government:
Article II, Section 2, paragraph 2 gives the President the power to nominate federal judges and other officers of the executive branch. But presidential appointments can only be effective “… by and with the “Advice and Consent” of the Senate.
But Senators can withhold their “consent.” They do that by voting on the floor of the Senate to withhold their “consent.” Clearly, Article II, Section, paragraph 2 decrees that the Senate has a duty to vote yea or nay on the presidential nominees put before it. The Constitution does not say that a minority of Senators can prevent their colleagues from providing the President “Advice and Consent” in the matter of nominees to the judicial or the executive branches of government.
For 214 years, it was the practice of the U.S. Senate to send presidential nominees to the floor of the Senate for an up-or-down vote. But when the nation decided to send a majority of Republicans to the U.S. Senate, the liberal Democrats claim a super-majority of 60 votes, not a simple majority of 51, is now needed to confirm presidential judicial nominees. This observer isn’t quite sure how the Democrats got away with that; however, they stood 214 years of Senate practice on its head.
Apparently, Senate Republicans have started to read and understand what I’ve just recited above that the Constitution gives each member one vote, and each vote is to be equal. The Constitution does not say that a willful minority, be it Democrat or Republican, can keep the other Senators from carrying out their Constitutional duty to vote on any matters, much less something as important as nominees to the federal judiciary or nominees to key executive branch positions.
So, why are these liberal Democrats acting to thwart the will of the majority? Because they have failed and continue to fail to get their liberal agenda enacted by their Congressional colleagues. Moreover, the majority of state legislatures and the majority of voters in both Initiative and Referenda elections refuse to adopt their liberal agenda.
The only way liberals can get their way is by the appointment of liberal, un-elected, activist judges who will overturn the laws passed by the elected legislators of the states, who will overturn the will of the people expressed when they vote on ballot issues raised by either the Initiative or Referendum process and by the appointment of un-elected judges who will overturn laws passed by an elected Congress and signed by an elected President.
Meanwhile, the shortage of federal appellate judges gives new meaning to: “Justice delayed, is justice denied.” Some senior citizens will die before they get their day in court. Ironically, criminals who, by law, must get a speedy trail, go to the head of the line. Contact your Senator.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2005. William Hamilton.