An open letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist


Dear Senator Frist:

Congratulations on Tuesday's results. As a Republican State Committeeman and a volunteer for the 72-hour Task Force here in Tulsa, I was thrilled to see the huge turnout of Republicans, sweeping President Bush into office and giving you four more seats in the Senate. Tom Coburn's big win here was heartening for all of us who care about fiscal responsibility and the sanctity of human life.

It was heartening to see the high turnout by religious conservatives. Across the nation, millions of voters supported Republican candidates because of their concerns about moral issues and about the activist judges who seek to overrule the will of the people on moral issues.

I am writing to ask that you do whatever you can to ensure that someone other than Arlen Specter be elected Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Allowing Sen. Specter to assume the chairmanship would damage the Republican Party's credibility with those millions who were motivated by moral issues. It would be breaking faith with these voters to give control over the judicial nomination process to a senator who is not committed to judicial restraint. Sen. Specter has blocked and would block judges who are committed to applying the Constitution and laws as they are.

What will happen if conservative nominees are blocked by Sen. Specter? How will conservative voters respond if the President is forced to nominate squishy centrists and judicial activists in order to get any nominees out of committee?

In this election, we saw the Democrats trying to blur the distinction between them and the Republicans on the sanctity of human life. They tried to convince pro-life voters that voting Republican wouldn't advance their cause -- for example, Chris Matthews' assertion that President Bush isn't really pro-life. Here in Oklahoma, Brad Carson, the pro-abortion candidate tried to pose as a pro-life candidate, while smearing Tom Coburn as an abortionist because he performed life-saving surgeries on two women with ectopic pregnancies. The Democrats' hope was that those who are passionate about the sanctity of human life would stay at home.

We were able to rebut this by pointing to President Bush's record of accomplishments and Tom Coburn's clear pro-life voting record in the House. We alerted these voters to the danger that Democrats might regain control of the Senate, at a time when at least three Supreme Court justices are ready to step down and countless lower court seats remain vacant. No matter how conservative the Democratic nominee for Senate might seem, the question boiled down to this: "Do you want a Vermont liberal controlling who becomes a Federal judge?" That concern brought pro-life and pro-traditional-values voters home for the GOP and gave you a stronger majority to lead.

Think ahead to 2006. What will happen if a Pennsylvania liberal Republican spends two years blocking good judicial nominees because they are conservatives? "Values voters" will wonder if the Democrats were right -- does it really matter who controls the Senate? Expect religious conservative turn out to drop and Republicans to lose seats in 2006 as a result.

I am sure that Sen. Specter is promising to be a good boy and a team player, but I don't believe that he will. He is too vain, too fond of the praise he receives from the mainstream media when he betrays his own party. When we really need him, he isn't there for us. Wouldn't it be better to give the Judiciary chairmanship to someone who really believes in his core what your Platform Committee wrote? "The sound principle of judicial review has turned into an intolerable presumption of judicial supremacy. A Republican Congress, working with a Republican president, will restore the separation of powers and re-establish a government of law." A senator with Specter's views, so out of sync with the mainstream of the Republican Party, should be a backbencher, not chairman of one of the most powerful committees.

For the sake of the "values voters", for the sake of traditional values, traditional marriage, and the sanctity of human life, please don't let Arlen Specter be chairman of the Judiciary Committee.


Michael D. Bates

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 5, 2004 12:09 PM.

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