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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Profiling Justice Clarence Thomas; President Obama wants debt talks; the loss of union jobs at a BMW facility in Ontario

July 07, 2011
  • Justice: Thomas came to the high court in 1991. (Associated Press)
Justice: Thomas came to the high court in 1991. (Associated Press)

The case against Thomas

Re "Clarence Thomas is his own man," July 3

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas complains that his critics "demonize" the court without reading its opinions.

I hate to break it to Thomas, but I (and many of his other critics) have read dozens of his opinions. They consistently lack intellectual depth, replacing reason with a fanatical bias against anyone convicted of a crime and exhibiting blind prejudice and cherry-picked straw men where one ought to find solid legal logic.

In his confirmation hearings, Thomas claimed that he would be able to "walk in the shoes of the people who are affected by what the court does." Although he may have believed that statement, it was one of the greatest lies of the 20th century.

When a prisoner is kicked in the face so hard that his teeth crack, it is not walking in his shoes to call his injuries "insignificant harm."

Geoff Kuenning

Paremata, New Zealand

This article somehow managed to completely ignore the serious ethical questions surrounding Thomas.

Not the least of these are the six years of income he failed to report from his wife's work with the right-wing Heritage Foundation, which applauded the court's Citizens United decision. And then there is his wife's work with Liberty Central, which opposes the Affordable Care Act, sure to come up before the court sometime soon.

These examples suggest that Thomas should not be in a decision-making position on the highest court in the land. Why The Times failed to write about any of this is a mystery to me.

Russ Nichols

Los Angeles

In 1819, the Supreme Court recognized "it is a Constitution we are expounding," intended to "endure for ages to come, and, consequently, to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs."

Thomas' theory of divining the "original intent" of the drafters of the Constitution is simply a disingenuous attempt to maintain the status quo and evade intelligent analysis of evolving threats to individual liberties. What would the Founding Fathers have thought of police placing a tracking device in an automobile without a warrant?

Original intent avoids the need for the Supreme Court to create protections against evolving threats to individual liberties.

Mark Overland

Santa Monica

Debts that must be faced

Re "Obama calls meeting to break debt impasse," July 6

So House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said budget talks will be "fruitless" unless the president abandons calls for any tax increases. "The American people simply won't stand for it," he said.

Which American people? Not most, because repealing Bush-era tax cuts for the uber-wealthy isn't raising taxes on average Americans, and the 2% at the top are the only segment of Americans prospering in the post-recession anyway. To suggest that their largesse is sacred while programs such as Medicare and education grants must be cut should make moderates run from the Republican Party.

G. Colby Allerton

Venice

What if your family acted irresponsibly, for years spending more than its income? Should it find another source of income to pay those debts? Or should it instead default because it should not have incurred the debt? That's where the country finds itself.

Like a responsible family, we must pay the debts we have incurred. If we fail to do so, we will suffer even greater future debt through lower investments and increased interest rates.

If that's not enough to persuade the Republicans in Congress, this should: We will reveal our moral

(as well as financial)

bankruptcy.

Peter Israel

Sherman Oaks

So much for 'the good life'

Re "BMW job cuts help eviscerate the middle class," Business, July 3

In the "good old days," union membership had the earning power of a college degree today. Unions made it possible for a worker to own his own home, two cars, a boat and a swimming pool.

As Michael Hiltzik's article about the loss of 71 union jobs at the BMW parts distribution warehouse in Ontario demonstrates, those days are gone. Union workers are being replaced with cheaper foreign and domestic nonunion labor.

Instead of union membership giving you a well-paying job, union membership is going to cost you your job. If your strategy was to rely on unions to give you "the good life," you'd better start working on a Plan B.

Bill Gravlin

Rancho Palos Verdes

Henry Ford, no paragon of social justice, realized that by paying his workers a high wage, he was creating a broad market for his auto products. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all employers today had this policy? Unlikely, but a good thought.

Morrie Markoff

Silver Lake

Justice and Casey Anthony

Re "Acquittal is a swift ending to the Casey Anthony odyssey," July 6

I am not at all surprised by the negative reaction to the verdict, as one of the traits of adolescence is to be reactionary and whine when one doesn't get one's way.

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