Questions for the SCOTUS audience
Hearings on Judge Jackson’s confirmation as a Supreme Court justice will begin soon. I have sent the following to all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and hope they will be asked:
- You were appointed for justice, not for the judge. Most candidates were asked if they would abide by the law, and many senators wanted an affirmative answer. But the Supreme Court has sometimes refused to follow the law and declared a law unconstitutional. Are you ready to invalidate a law as unconstitutional?
- Originalists interpret the Constitution as they believe the Founders did. Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Institutions must also progress and keep pace with the times. We might as well demand that a man always wear the same coat that suited him when a boy than civilized society to always remain under the rule of their barbaric ancestors. Do you agree with originality or with Jefferson?
- Cases declaring a law unconstitutional or not are rarely decided unanimously, so it is far from clear what “unconstitutional” means. What does this mean to you?
- The rule of law is extremely important and respect for the law is valuable even when a law conflicts with your view of justice and the Constitution. Will you sometimes give deference to law and precedent even though you believe a law is unjust? If so, how would you decide that the injustice is so great that the law should be overturned? Do you think that sometimes a law should not be followed even if the case fits the law as written and the law itself is not unconstitutional?
- The Second Amendment says in full: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Prohibiting all private possession of firearms is clearly unconstitutional, but we are violating the right to bear arms. I think we can agree that it would be a bad idea to allow Space X to place a nuclear weapon on one of its rockets, or to allow a disgruntled air passenger to have a basement full of anti- aerial. Where should the line be drawn on protected weapons? Single-shot muzzleloaders? Weapons used by the National Guard? Automatic weapons? Large capacity magazines? Fighter planes?
- Do the words of the preamble to the Constitution have the force of law or are they only aspirations and a declaration of intent?
- The Constitution says: “No appropriation of money for this purpose [i.e. the army] must be for a period of more than two years. Are military contracts for projects longer than two years unconstitutional?
- The 14th Amendment says that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, … shall not be questioned.” Is a statutory federal debt limit unconstitutional?
James L. Eliason | storm lake
Voices need to be heard
I am grateful for the courage of area residents, including Alan Lopez, Angie Snyder and Pastor James Roland, for their clear voices regarding immigration issues and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. ). Their voices – and the stories and editorials shared in recent issues of the Storm Lake Times, need to be heard by our elected officials.
Reverend David Halaas | City of the Sioux
Greed will be our death
A few years ago I protested at the capitol in Des Moines. If we had done a tenth of what happened in DC, I’m sure I’d be in jail and it wouldn’t take months to be convicted.
History will not be kind to the radical right-wing base of the Republican Party, the gullible base that will believe anything one person says (without proof) that leads to a tumultuous attempt to overthrow the government. With the truth you only have to tell it once, but with a lie you have to keep telling lies to cover up. According to Factcheck.org, the instigator of the riot lied 30,573 times in four years, an average of 21 a day. The first year started with six lies a day but by the fourth it was 39 a day. So you see lies covering up lies. Nine people died as a result of this riot.
After being assaulted, a police officer died of multiple blows the following day and four others committed suicide. It shows how traumatic it was. The base calls it a tour and my question is, how many people usually die on tour? The last time a speaker incited crowds to violence, 50 to 56 million people died in World War II, the costliest of all time. Does the book ban sound familiar? The civil war cost 750,000 lives and with the same ratio today it would be seven million.
Maybe we should all be put on suicide watch because what we should be doing is saving the planet. Since we are overpopulated, Mother Nature seems determined to thin us out. Mother Nature can usually heal herself, but we won’t let her. People think more about money than the environment. Money is not the root of all evil but the love of money is; greed will be our death.
David Haynes | Duncombe
Horror of another war
As we watch the horror of another foreign war (begun under a Democratic administration by a foreign tyrant), we remember the brilliance of our Founding Fathers in including the Second Amendment in our American Constitution.
Remember, boys and girls, giving up a little freedom for a little security does not produce any of these situations.
Here’s another brilliant thought from our Founding Fathers: The Second Amendment protects the First Amendment.
God bless America in these difficult times!
Jeff Myers | Newell