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January 1, 2023 Letters

Letters

SCOTUS

I read with interest the letter from Robert M. Hustead in the December News. Ultimately, Mr. Hustead’s letter concluded with the notion that a couple of Supreme Court justices ought to resign. Although law-related issues were addressed in his writing, most notably the recent developments surrounding abortion, an all-too familiar theme resonated to the top — like a ribbon wrapped around a holiday package.

Like Mr. Hustead, I was pro choice in the wake of Roe v. Wade, and remained so inclined throughout my 20s and 30s. Imagine that: a young man growing up in the 1970s and 1980s with quiet appreciation for the almost unlimited availability of abortion. But with the passage of time, I began to think that a mature adult might also consider the notion that valuing innocent life should not be subject to compromise in favor of the transient comforts of selfishness or convenience. There’s no shortage of strong feelings on abortion. So, the issue will always be debatable, and civil disagreement unavoidable.

Judges and courts at every level have reversed their own decisions numerous times. The insufferably trite phrase, “well settled law,” has been utilized shamelessly by politicians during confirmation processes in misguided efforts to influence judicial nominees regarding future decisions. Another view, more prudential and honest, might be: “Every law is settled until it isn’t.” With respect for Stare Decisis, and especially the core principle that lower courts should be governed by the precedent rulings of higher courts, one phrase/view depicts a closed mind, the other an open one.

The writer laments the deterioration of public respect for the U.S. Supreme Court, and cites as the “greatest blow to the Court’s public credibility,” the fact that Merrick Garland wasn’t confirmed or formally considered by the U.S. Senate during the waning months of a lame-duck presidential administration. I’d refer Mr. Hustead to the three-decades-old “Biden Rule” on Supreme Court nominees — the 1992 U.S. Senate chambers video widely available. There, Joe Biden, then head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, admonished with unmistakable zeal that a sitting president should not nominate, and that a sitting U.S. Senate should not consider, appointments to the high court during a presidential election year, until after election day.

Portraying the procedural discretion as some new Republican concoction, and stating that Justice Barrett’s nomination and confirmation was “in direct violation of the Senate’s Garland rule,” is patently ludicrous. The concept was widely known as the “Biden Rule” because it was boldly declared — in detail on the record — by Mr. Biden in Senate chambers 30 years ago. Problem was and is, Mr. Biden was simply stating his preferred procedure under the circumstances (sitting Republican president) at that time. The only “rule” that matters in those limited procedural instances, however, is that the United States Senate majority will act (or not) in its own best interests.

So, what does cause the deterioration of public respect for the U.S. Supreme Court?

Perhaps when the leading Democratic U.S. senator, with news cameras and microphones staged, stands in front of the Supreme Court building and vehemently calls out selected justices by name — ultimately leveling the threats, “I want to tell you (surname and surname) … you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you.” A subsequent contributing factor might be when left-wing activists published the residence addresses of justices and engaged mob protest activity outside of their family homes — including while children were present.

Might all that contribute to diminished respect for justices and the Court? Of course. What results is a partisan and dangerous “disrespect avalanche.”

Is there a solution? Yes. Stop the relentless hate directed toward justices appointed by your opposing party’s administrations. Better still, cast away “hate” altogether. And maybe avoid the words “war” and “attack” when describing verbal criticism, disagreement, or legal challenge.

I enjoyed his letter and wish him a happy holiday season, but found the overarching message to be one of utter disdain for the political reality we all share: that there will always be large numbers of people with views diametrically opposed to our own.

Alan J. Denis
Tallahassee

A letter in the December News talked about being “pro-choice” and politicking. A bigger issue is that our nation, and western civilization as a whole, is becoming more pro-death through politicking in all ways by various means. Prim reapers trimming the Tree of Life are here, there, and everywhere.

From the beginning of time and across the universe, everyone from the nowhere man to the Polythene Pam knew eight days a week that killing one’s unborn child was the lowest of the low, but then the days in the life of the decade of decadence descended from “I want to hold your hand” to “Why don’t we do it in the road?”

A half-century ago, soon after Lennon sung a song about Marx, seven males in long, one-shade robes threw shade on the Constitution with Norwegian Wood nadir unfaithfulness to the supreme Law of the Land by ruling high — and low — for the elimination of our most vulnerable in which 99% of the victims have come about for the empty convenience of emptied souls.

The sickness of I-me-mine secularism smooths over with “Ob-la-di, ob-la-da. Life goes on. Let it be.” Helter-skelter hedonism started with the new and moved onto the old, with the normalization of euthanasia, and then assisted suicide for people of all ages and for an ever-expanding number of reasons, and now emotions in our wanton “I am the Walrus” world.

Prim reaper piggies have been killing hard-heartedly while using soft-sounding euphemisms like “pro-choice.”

They process seed oils, flour, sugar, and artificial sweeteners for the magical mystery tour of medical clinics starting when we’re 64. They mute the “my body, my choice” mantra for the Big Pharma mamba and its COVID snake oil poison.

The piggies not only systematically destroy Americans’ hearts, they have been systematically destroying the Heart of America and the promise of our founders’ revolution, just like the day trippers twisted and shouted for back in the days of the U.S.S.R.

Jeff Boston
Rockledge

Professionalism

Unfortunately, and it is a very considerable detriment to the noble and learned legal profession, the Guidelines for Professional Conduct do not include morality, which is a higher standard of conduct than ethics nor truth as the highest value in the advisory system. U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Marvin E. Frankel’s brilliant, most insightful, and prescient law review article, “The Search for Truth: An Umperial View,” should be required reading in every law school in the land and a studied and learned condition for admission to the bar.
So much needless bickering, hurt feelings, needless litigation, energy, expense, and time would be avoided because the moral standard of right and wrong in consideration of legal matters would be applied. The knee-jerk motion to dismiss a complaint and other legalistic tactics and the knee-jerk lawsuit would far more tend to be avoided

A firmer foundation for American democracy, government, and constitutional law would be established. Lawyers are the guardians of the law but, alas, the public’s opinion of lawyers is not great.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger’s strong and urgent advice merits great attention.

“Should lawyers not be healers? Healers, not warriors? Healers, not procurers? Healers, not hired guns?

“For some disputes, trials will be the only means, but for many claims, trial by adversarial contest must go the way of the ancient trial by battle and blood. Our trials are too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for a truly civilized people.”

I intend no disrespect to the legal profession but it is long overdue that the MORAL standard of conduct be applied and that the Truth be the pre-eminent value in the advisory system.

Stephen Francis Schoeman
Westfield, NJ

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