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Forum, Sept. 14: Reactionary court should be changed

Published: 9/13/2021 10:00:05 PM
Modified: 9/13/2021 10:00:05 PM
Reactionary court should be changed

The Supreme Court as currently constituted has become a menace to government by the people under the Constitution. It may properly be termed reactionary, rather than “conservative.” It has compromised citizens’ right to vote. It has gutted enforcement of the Civil Rights Act. The effect of its decisions has been to renew Jim Crow-like restrictions on voting in states where Republicans control the legislature.

The Texas Legislature has been in the forefront of such efforts, including the empowerment of private citizen “poll watchers” to “supervise” the election process. A second effort by that Legislature is effectively to run around the Roe vs. Wade decision.

On Sept. 1, legislation went into effect to forbid all abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat (at about six weeks), and empowered private citizens to bring civil action against abortion seekers and providers, as well as any person who assists a woman to get an abortion.

Despite its questionable constitutionality, a majority of justices refused to block this law, pending litigation.

To me it is clear that the court is setting itself above the Constitution, as well as established precedents. It thereby undermines the foundations of government by the people, as well as a consistent, orderly judicial process. What else shall this reactionary court be capable of?

So it is that I support the intent of proposals to change the Supreme Court. I suggest that Congress and the president act as follows. Since the Constitution empowers the Congress to set the number of justices on the Supreme Court, I urge citizens to petition it to add three justices. They shall be vetted and appointed by the president, based on their loyalty to the Constitution and the rule of law. They shall be confirmed by the Senate.

I think legislation should also be enacted to limit the term to be served by all newly appointed justices. Twenty years has often been suggested. Also, I think such legislation should require that when a vacancy does occur on the court it should be filled within six months (no more Mitch McConnell shenanigans!).


Springfield, Vt.

Seems I missed the bus on Roe vs. Wade

As a mortal man, I have to confess to never having an opinion on the subject of reproductive rights. As a young man circa Roe vs. Wade, I never understood the argument in its totality because so many political variables were stirred into the mix. And the decades since have added more ingredients to the mix. I must say that the crux of this issue in my modern-day world, and the most important focus, is the woman.

How dare men stand on some milk crate (I won’t dignify ’em with a podium) and dictate to half of our beloved American population — wives, lovers, co-workers, sisters and people we cherish — how to live in their bodies?

I missed the bus to that one. Gonna miss the next one, too!



Mask defiance and blatant disrespect

A simple and polite request hangs on the front door of a local Vermont business: “Masks required.” Free masks sit in hopeful employment right next to the entrance. Who doesn’t like something free? Our safe and effective vaccines are also free. The retail business is a collaborative. We are all small business owners. Sole proprietors. Our individual businesses are only as healthy as we are.

My first in-store workday was fraught with COVID-19 worry. Many, in fact most, of the customers were lovely. I enjoyed interacting with them. But it was the few who made the biggest impression. Isn’t it always that way? I was reminded of my grammar school years when there was one student whose behavior jeopardized recess or fun class trips. I met that ill-behaved child in the store, 60 or 70 years later. Arrogant, demanding, condescending and threatening in his mask defiance. A young couple giggled as they baited me to say something. They were betting on their delusions of immortality while flirting with others’ mortality. A woman dressed to the nines — sans mask — had little interest in what our store had to offer but demanded face-to-face information about other local businesses. Blatant disrespect was the largest transaction of the day. Who will bear the biggest cost?

Just the other day, a brownish-black coyote stood firmly in place just yards away from the far side of my small house. Stance firm. Poised to confront. A stare of dominance had me quickly ushering the dogs into the house while my heart raced. I feared the coyote, but not nearly as much as I fear my fellow man these questionable days.


South Pomfret

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West Lebanon, NH 03784


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