Open Letter to Senator Lindsey Graham

Below is a letter I have sent to Senator Lindsey Graham who is my senator from South Carolina and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Dear Senator Graham:

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the process of replacing her has placed you at the center of the intensifying crises facing our country. Far more is at stake than the choosing of a member of the Supreme Court. Trust in the democratic processes and those who lead them has been eroding for years and has now reached a tipping point. Such trust depends upon the integrity, truthfulness, and commitment to the common good of people such as you who wield political power.

You, President Trump, and Senator McConnell are now the decisive leaders who will determine the timing and process for filling the vacancy on the Supreme Court and the integrity with which the process unfolds. Your personal character and the integrity of the Senate hangs in the balance. You unequivocally declared in 2016 that if a vacancy occurred during the presidential primary season the naming of a replacement would be made by the person elected in November.

 Senator McConnell, with the full support of the Republican caucus in the Senate, blocked the duly nominated Judge Garland with the rationale that no Supreme Court nominee should be approved in an election year. The decision to move forward in replacing Justice Ginsburg with less than two months remaining before the election is rank hypocrisy and Machiavellian duplicity.

By creating the precedent of blocking President Obama’s nominee, you and Senate Republicans sowed poisonous seeds of cynicism and exacerbated the dysfunction of the Senate. Whatever rationalization you use to justify reversing that principle when the president is of your own party, you will further undermine your own personal integrity and our trust in the Senate and those of you who occupy the position.

I appeal to your personal sense of integrity and fairness, and your commitment to the ideals of our democracy to delay consideration of a replacement of Justice Ginsburg until after the election. Doing so will send a signal that personal character still matters to you and your Republican colleagues; and it will be one step toward restoring trust in you and our democratic institutions.

 As a person of faith, I am reminded of the words of Jesus, “What will it profit a person if he/she gains the whole world and loses his/her soul.” You and your colleagues may gain this Supreme Court seat; but doing so at the cost of your character and integrity will eventually destroy you and further weaken the credibility of our democratic institutions. Providence and history will not look kindly on such action. Neither will voters in the upcoming election.


Kenneth L. Carder

18 thoughts on “Open Letter to Senator Lindsey Graham

  1. Thank you for sharing this letter. It is greatly needed at this difficult time. I too live in South Carolina and have watched Senator Graham become a puppet for Trump. I pray he heeds you’re advise.


  2. Oh, Bishop Carder — what a powerful letter!! Thank you for expressing the things many of us have been feeling.
    From a member of the Alabama-West Florida Conference

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Both sides said the opposite in 2016, it’s the duty of the president to nominate a person to fill this seat. The senate has the duty of accepting the person ,or not.


    • Thank you, Paul. Regrettably, Graham and his colleagues have so compromised their integrity that appeal to moral and ethical principles has little, if any, affect. I think, however, it is important for us to challenge them on the basis of moral and ethical principles as a means of maintaining our own integrity in theses perilous times.


  4. Allow me to put a different perspective out here. These politicians ALL know that the SENATE is CONSTITUTIONALLY (legally) responsible for appointing a Supreme Court Judge when there is an opening. There has almost NEVER been Justice appointed when the Senate is a different party than the President, which we have now. It doesn’t matter a wit about other members of congress – they don’t have a say. When Obama nominated Garland for Supreme Court, he did not have the backing of the Senate, and they would have not have approved him and it would have been a waste of time; at least not as embarrassing as Kavanaugh!


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