Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Conversation With Senator Graham about Supreme Court Qualifications and Nominations

If you are interested in a civil but profound exchange I had with Senator Lindsey Graham in early January on. If not....keep scrolling

On the night of January 9th, 2015 while attending the South Carolina Citizens for Life annual dinner in Columbia, SC I had the opportunity to have a fairly long and in depth conversation with United States Senator Lindsey Graham.

I have seen Senator Graham many times before but have never had the desire to speak with him. I'm pretty hard on Senator Graham and I think for good reason. But as the evening went on at last nights event, and I realized that he was sticking around for the whole event, I was overcome with the sense that once and for all I wanted to have an in depth conversation with him about what I think is his most egregious position as a United States Senator. To be fair, Senator Graham has been a consistent supporter of national defense and our military. And has shown consistency as a "pro life" voter.
Getting time to have more than a surface/meet and greet discussion is usually difficult at an event like this...I understand that and do not expect it. But last night, God provided a really good opportunity. After the event was over and folks were departing, I walked over to Senator Graham and asked him if he had a few minutes to discuss something. I explained that I have had areas of disagreement with him but one was so important to me that I really wanted a one and one conversation and to be able to hear from him how he might explain his position.

I have written extensively in the past about the serious error with Senator Graham's philosophy of the Constitutional provision under Article II, Section 2. But let me summarize for you here. Much of the work done by conservative activists in the trenches is being undone every single day by rogue federal courts. Senator Graham fails the founders miserably when he votes to put Justices on the Courts that openly refuse to hold to Original Intent in their interpretation of the Constitution. Senator Graham did that with both of the Presidents appointees. He's batting 1000 % on giving us years and years more of ungodly court decisions. Those court appointees will be there on the SCOTUS terrorizing little unborn children long after those conservative bones Lindsey threw us wear off. Basically Senator Grahams position is that unless a Judicial nominee is an axe murderer, they will get his vote for confirmation to the Supreme Court because as he likes say (said it again last night) "elections have consequences".

So, it was with that in mind ....and all the years I have been writing about and ranting about Senator Graham in this area...and this horrible error in judgment and thinking when it comes to his role as a United States Senator in the Constitutional responsibility that is given to him for "advice and consent" more commonly referred to as the  Confirmation Process". It is with that in mind that I approached him for a discussion last night.

I will not remember every word that we exchanged in our discussion....but I do remember my jaw dropping at one point in our discussion and that is what I will focus in the interest of relating to you accurately and fairly what he told me. After exchanging pleasantries and greetings I got down to business and asked him if he would give me a few minutes to explain the one area that really has caused me so much consternation with him as a United States Senator. He obliged and indicated that he wanted to hear what it was that I had such a big issue with.

I explained pretty much what I explained above and asked if he didn't think that his role was more than abject approval of any candidate for the SCOTUS that a President nominated as long as they had done nothing criminal or noteworthy. He clarified my statement by saying that he was only interested if they were "qualified" and if they were "qualified" than the President deserved to have his choices confirmed in the Senate. I had a feeling that is what he would say so I then dug further and asked him if he thought that philosophy of interpretation of the Constitution, specifically Original Intent was paramount for qualification. He responded by laughing and asking/telling me "so you think all judges have to agree with you" which I responded "of course not, Original Intent does not mean that they would always agree with me or vice versa, only that they would believe that the original text had meaning and that the job of a SCOTUS judge would be to do their best to determine Original Intent". I explained that sometimes even Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas (both are Originalists) sometimes disagree but both of them are striving to be faithful to Original Intent.

He continued to laugh....I was beginning to get the feeling that he did not put much weight on interpretation philosophy at all which I did not I asked him again, "do you think that Original Intent is an important qualification for anyone being appointed to steward our Constitution" to which he flat out said "No". I have to be honest, I was stunned.....I know that he doesn't make that a requirement already from his actions....but that response is not even the response of a "moderate"...or a RINO as he is called sometimes....that is a flat out liberal position. He then made the comment that "no where in the Constitution does it say that a judge must hold to "Original Intent"". That was such an incredibly lame comment that I had to pursue it....I explained to him that he and I both know that the Constitution contains Powers and Rights...and specific requirements for certain aspects of our government. The Constitution would not tell us how to interpret it. The philosophy of Original Intent was written about by the framers in many places but logic would tell us that words have meaning and their meaning must be adhered to otherwise you have everyone "doing what is right in their own mind"....sort of like what we see today with the Courts. The federal courts today from the SCOTUS on down through the Circuit Courts of Appeals and down to the District Court levels are no longer anchored to Constitutional text....and we are reaping the whirlwind of the decisions of men and women that are appointed for life and have no concern for the Rule of Law and the meaning of the text in the Constitution.

We continued for a bit...and then someone came by to shake his hand and I thanked him and walked off....literally shaking my head. To my astonishment....a few minutes later he came back over to me and wanted to know who I was and wanted to press the discussion further....which we did. But pretty much he wanted to tell me that nothing was going to change his mind on mind you....I had walked away....he came back to me....he laughed and shook his head that he said something to the effect that he was right and nothing was going to change his mind. He reiterated his earlier point that "you want judges that think like you" and I reminded him that I didn't say that and that he should understand what I was saying when I told him that I was talking about interpretational philosophy, not my personal preferences in every issue or case. Ten minutes later...finally leaving the dinner....I enter the restroom...and who am I standing next to....Senator Graham....he looks at me....and starts up again. Unreal. In the past I would have told you here that I give him credit for talking to me about it....but I have come to realize that he is paid to talk to me about his positions. That should not be something we praise a Senator or Congressman for....that is the minimum we should expect.
I don't say this to be intentionally disparaging of Senator Graham, those of you that know me know that I can be pretty caustic on him and our other local congressman....but I will say this about my encounter with him....the guy has an arrogance about him...that communicates loudly to me that he understands that he is not going anywhere. He believes that he simply holds the high ground and cannot be removed from office.

I ended the nights conversation by asking him if he knew what the Convention of States was......

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