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Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has asked senior federal judges to retire early so that the U.S. Senate might install more and younger “right of center” judges, thus securing for Republicans a “right of center” judiciary for decades into the future. As with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to consider moderate Judge Garland for the Supreme Court during the Obama administration, this is further proof — if any is needed — that Republicans support party over country. It is Republican political power these senators and the Republican Senate majority are after at the expense of every American’s right to an independent judiciary.

America is not well served by a judiciary that is either right of center or left of center. Our judges should be politically neutral and independent. That is the ideal Americans expect and our lawmakers should be seeking. The promise over the front entrance to the Supreme Court is: “Equal Justice Under Law.” Over the back entrance it is “Justice, the Guardian of Liberty.”

These promises of justice, equality and liberty cannot be realized when every effort is made by the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate to blatantly secure a “right of center” judiciary. The more politicized our courts and justice system become, the less respect Americans will have for law, the judiciary and senators who undermine our ideals and our government to serve the interests of their own political party.

Darlene Trainor