The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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December 12, 2013

Writer's constitutional analysis flawed on filibuster

This is in response to the Dec. 8 letter to the editor by Bob Jentges criticizing The Free Press. In previous letters to The Free Press, Jentges has asserted his originalist interpretation of the Constitution. However, when it comes to Republicans filibustering virtually every federal court or U.S .officer nomination made by the president, he is perfectly willing to violate it. The Constitution plainly stated federal court and officers of the U.S. nomination are subject to “advise and consent” by the Senate through a majority vote.

So his positions about the Constitution seem to be a matter of convenience instead of conviction.

Republicans have taken great pleasure in rebuffing the president in virtually all appointments and legislation. In fact, Republicans have filibustered legislation they have proposed, if it was supported by the president, according to a Politicusa.com

In fact, the Republican plan to obstruct was hatched before President Obama was even sworn-in, according to swampland.time.com

Jentges’ statement,“…rather cynical approach to governing” was conceived and enacted by Republicans, not the president, as pointed out above.

He makes a statement refuting common sense and conventional thought when he said, “Most senators in the minority political party rightly recognize elections have consequences, when it comes to confirming executive-branch political appointees.”

So, if Republicans recognize the consequences of the 2008 and 2012 elections, they have masked it very well. Republicans even filibustered appointments of the Republican Secretary of Defense, being a first in history. The senatorial deference Jentges said is given to the president is better described as defiance.

It was previously agreed to by the Senate (majority, by the way) that rules be changed by parliamentary device (filibuster). Filibuster is a concoction of the Senate.

Minority rights were considered by our Founding Fathers when establishing the procedures of our government. That’s why there is a Senate and a House of Representatives. One considers proportional representation and the other equal representation for each state, regardless of population. In addition, minority rights are safeguarded in the executive and Supreme Court.

Furthermore, he implies the majority in the Senate is the only determinant of tyranny. He kind of forgets about the majority in the House of Representatives…would that also not be tyranny of the majority?

Dan Conner

North Mankato

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