I give kudos to Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King for doing their jobs by considering the president’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy.

The Constitution is very clear that the president “shall have the Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate… (to) appoint Judges of the Supreme Court.” There is no provision that vacancies should not be filled in the last year of a president’s term of office. The Constitution is also clear that each branch of Congress may punish its members for “disorderly behavior” and expel members with a two-thirds vote.

Interestingly, the 1828 Webster’s dictionary defined “disorderly” as “confused, immethodical; irregular; being without order or disposition.” So it could be argued that Sens. Chuck Grassley and Mitch McConnell, by defying their responsibilities under the Constitution, should be held to account for failing to operate the institution in an “orderly” fashion.

While I know that will never happen, those two do-nothings should be expelled from office as intended by the authors of the Constitution unless they can be convinced to do their jobs.

Grassley and McConnell should be careful what they wish for because the most recent example of obstructionism is the latest application of rock upon a growing stone wall of permanent institutionalized dysfunction, the likes of which we have never seen before.

Cooler heads — like those of Maine’s two conscientious and common-sense-driven Senators — need to prevail.

Richard Whiting, Auburn

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