Dear Democrats in Wallowa County:

This will be a short primer on the design and proper function of our Constitutional Republic. Please pay attention. Our Democrat Senators are about to go off the rails.

Our Constitution divides the government into three branches -- Article I is Congress, Article II is the President, Article III is the Courts. By design, the branch with the shortest term of office is the House of Representatives in Congress.

Representatives are close to their constituents, should represent the peoples’ interests in the laws that they pass, and can be voted out quickly if they fail. The scope of the federal government was restricted in Article II, Section 8. This was to prevent it from taking power away from the states and freedom from the people.

Right now, the Senate is holding hearings to confirm a Supreme Court Justice to replace Anthony Kennedy who is retiring. Instead of asking serious questions, Democrat Senators have been interrupting, grandstanding and encouraging protesters who are paid for their antics.

It has been a circus! Now, when the time for interviews is over, Democrat Senators revealed an accusation that they have withheld for months. This is completely out of order and a national disgrace.

Why are Democrats so desperate? This is a serious question and the subject of today’s column.

Over the decades, the Congress has allowed its primary function of passing laws to be eroded by passing only general guidelines and allowing an army of bureaucrats to fill in the blanks with regulations. An excellent local example is the 26 pound 5,600 page Blue Mountains Forest Plan.

What chance do our local ranchers have to protect their rights against the U.S. Forest Service and their legions stretching clear back to Washington, D.C.? To change this BM Plan –– who do you vote out? Congress shirked its duty and voters have lost control.

Over the decades, the Supreme Court has arrogated powers to govern the nation that it should not have. It has handed down decisions that nullified laws properly passed by several states on subjects where the court did not have the authority to make a ruling.

This is exactly why the Senate Democrats are so desperate. Here it is:

In 1973 the Supreme Court discovered a novel “right to privacy” in the Constitution that allowed them to strike down every state law restricting abortion. Five people in black robes in Washington DC nullified laws passed by thousands of voters across the nation.

But the Constitution does not give any part of the federal government any authority over abortion. Only issues specifically enumerated In Article II Section 8 are within federal purview.

Everything else was reserved to the states –– to keep laws close to the people so they can make changes easily. The federal government cannot make laws on abortion but individual states may. The court took away our rights.

Over the decades, the Democrats have come to rely on the clearly unconstitutional arrogation of power to the court system to advance their agenda. This is much easier than putting a question to the voters where they have to engage in a debate they might lose!

Couple this with Congress giving away its authority and you have the reason Senators come unhinged at the prospect of a jurist who will honor the clear meaning of our founding documents.

Imagine if Enterprise sent its football team to an away game where, unexpectedly, the football field was 20 yards wide and 200 yards long. The goal posts were 20 feet high.

When the opposing team took the field, there were 18 players and no referees. Can the game of football survive such chaos?

Similarly, can our nation survive if laws become regulations enforced by unaccountable bureaucrats and the basic structure of our government becomes a “living Constitution” to be modified at the whim of the court?

To restore stability to our governmental system, Senators need to approve Supreme Court Justices who will accept the limits of, and base their decisions on, the actual words of the Constitution.

This why our Oregon Senators should defy Democrat leadership and approve Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. Write them a letter. Keep them on track.

Anita VanGrunsven is a grandmother who lives in rural Wallowa with time to think.

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