In the Sunday, January 10th, Tullahoma News there appears a front page story addressing Tennessee’s two (2) U.S. Senators, Senators Blackburn and Hagerty, and our Representative in Congress, Congressman Rose. What I read that concerns me in the subject article is that our Senators who planned to support the motion or petition of Senator Cruz for Congress to require independent certification of the election results in certain states, because of clearly substantiated evidence of violation of both Federal and State law in regard to certain aspects of the election as well as questionable vote counts, changed their votes to oppose the motion, because of the conduct of those who invaded the Capitol.
In all fairness, I don’t know Senator Hagerty. I’ve met him and I hope and trust he will do a good job for Tennessee. Marsha Blackburn I’ve known as a staunch conservative member of Congress representing a neighboring District. I’ve followed her career and been supportive all along and know that she has been consistent in her views and in her positions and in her votes. She has been a great member of the House from her Congressional District in Tennessee and is being and I believe will continue to be a great senator.
My concern is that regardless of how offensive and criminal some of the demonstrators were who broke into the Capitol they have nothing to do with the merit or the validity of the petition or motion made by Senator Cruz pertaining to the verification of the election results. If the motion of Senator Cruz was meritorious the day before the invasion of the Capitol occurred, then it warranted support the day of that invasion. His request to the members of the Senate was in part to bring focus and seek correction and remedy to protect the voting process of our country. The process of fair, honest, credible elections is an essential element of our form of government.
When I was in college at MTSU and then in law school at Tulane, which covered the years of 1963 to 1970, the United States Supreme Court case which arose in the State of Tennessee of Baker v. Carr, 369 US 186 (1962), was considered the second most important Supreme Court case in the country’s history, second only to the case of Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137 (1803). The Baker v. Carr case in 1962 was the first ruling by the highest court of the land that Federal Courts had jurisdiction to insure enforcement of state reapportionment and voting rights laws. It further held that despite the fact that voting rights were generally considered political matters, they are justifiable by the courts to protect people’s voting rights. This case, along with the other voting rights cases that followed shortly after, recognized basically that if the voting process is not carried out according to the applicable law, anyone who votes that shouldn’t vote or when anyone’s vote counts more than it’s supposed to under proper apportionment, it undermines the vote of every other voter in that election. The Baker v. Carr case was the first case establishing court jurisdiction and justifiability of voting rights and led to subsequent cases which established the recognized term of “one man one vote”.
There have been issues in the past of voter irregularities, but during my adult lifetime, nothing compared to the 2020 presidential election. This occurred in a portion of the states and a portion of the areas of those states, but was in battleground states in areas of concentrated populous. That in turn not only affected those counties and states, it diminished the value of the vote of every legitimate vote in the country.
The point I am seeking to make by the above references is that the issue of voter integrity in this country is key to our form of government and without the reliability and credibility of our voting process and its implementation the faith in our elections is undermined as well as our system of government itself.
The reason I reference some constitutional legal precedence on the matter is to emphasize the fact that one of the most precious rights we have in this country is the right to vote and elect our officials and if something undermines that process, it needs to be weeded out and corrected. The motion or request of Senator Cruz that was presented last week was designed to call attention to and seek redress to that issue. Despite how atrocious the conduct of some individuals were at the Capitol last week, that conduct had absolutely nothing to do with the validity or merit of the matter that was being voted on by the Senators and members of the House on that day; and thus my contention is to both of our Senators while I am satisfied the change of their vote was sincere on their part, I do not see how it was warranted, because nothing that occurred at the Capitol on that day affected the validity of the motion Senator Cruz made. If his motion warranted the Senators’ support on the day before the vote, then it warranted their support when it was voted on. It’s not about whether you like President Trump or hate President Trump; it’s about preserving our elective form of government and that is bigger and more important than any individual or any official.
It would appear that our Senators changing their vote was based on the emotion of what occurred at the Capitol, not a change in the validity of that matter being addressed. Despite the higher position held by our Senators in relation to our Representative and despite my great fondness for Marsha Blackburn, I have to contend that our new Congressman used sounder judgment in relation to his vote than did our more politically seasoned Senators, by recognizing that the wrongful conduct at the Capitol does not diminish the importance of preserving the integrity of the election process.
Regrettably, the focus on what occurred at the Capitol has taken attention away from correcting the problem with the voting and provided the media a diversion and an opportunity to condemn the President and anybody that supported him.