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Letter: Hold a hearing

Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee have the constitutional authority and duty to provide advice and consent to the president's nominees. And he has the constitutional authority and duty to nominate persons to fill judicial and executive branch vacancies.

Please do not contribute to what is rapidly becoming a catastrophic political arms race that threatens to taint and demean the constitutional nomination and confirmation process. If we declare the fourth year of a president's term off-limits for "significant" nominations, what's to prevent other Republicans from doubling down on the notion that "voters should have their say"?

How long exactly do election results count as legitimate support for a president's nominees? A year? Two years? You apparently believe the legitimacy shelf-life to be three years. Is this only the case in a second term? Or should it be the case in presidents' first terms too?

Sens. Hatch and Lee, I'm not suggesting you blindly vote to confirm Merrick Garland. By all means, vote against him if you don't believe him fit for the bench. But in a moment when our country needs statesmanship more than ever, please eschew the politics of us-versus-them. Please govern. Please represent me and so many of my fellow citizens who honor and support the Constitution and respect the processes it establishes, even (perhaps particularly) when we don't like the specific outcomes.

Jon Mott