Letter: Good riddance to Sen. Coats

From: Steve Jasper


The recent column from retiring Sen. Dan Coats tells me that he could benefit from a healthy dose of self-reflection. In his parting advice to the residents of Indiana, he calls upon all of us “to rise above political consequences to make the hard decisions.” And yet, for the past year, he has failed to carry out one of the important constitutionally mandated responsibilities of his office as a United States senator. Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution specifies that the president shall make “by and with the Advice and Consent” of the Senate various appointments, including judges of the Supreme Court.

President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill a Supreme Court vacancy on March 16, 2016, and Coats and the other senators in the majority chose to do nothing — no hearings, no public discourse, no vote. And these are the very same senators who frequently proclaim their undying adherence to constitutional principles. Garland’s qualifications for the position were never in question. This inaction was the result of purely political calculations.

So, perhaps before Coats tries to advise the rest of us on how we should proceed in his absence, he might want to do a bit of self-evaluation.