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Immigration and healthcare: Tallying the reader reaction

June 30, 2012|By Paul Thornton
  • An Affordable Care Act supporter on Thursday reacts to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the healthcare law.
An Affordable Care Act supporter on Thursday reacts to the U.S. Supreme… (Mark Wilson / Getty Images )

Each week, The Times' editorial and opinion pages receive a few thousand emails sent to, most of which are spam, messages sent as part of letter-writing campaigns and more. After deleting those messages, I'm usually left with 500 to 1,000 usable letters to the editor to consider for six weekly pages. Between 60 and 70 letters end up running in the paper during any given week.

Here is a snapshot of this week's mailbag.

702 usable letters were sent to between 10 a.m. Friday, June 22, and 10 a.m. this past Friday.

136 readers weighed in on the Supreme Court's healthcare ruling, the most-discussed topic.

68-27: The pro-con split among readers who took a clear stance on the decision.

50 readers discussed the court's ruling on Arizona's immigration law, the runner-up topic.

Rarely do two topics dominate the mailbag, much less ones having to do with the Supreme Court. But this week was an exception: With the court handing down two landmark decisions within a few days of each other (the first striking down much of Arizona's immigration law, the second endorsing the constitutionality of President Obama's Affordable Care Act), nearly 200 letters of the roughly 700 that were under consideration focused on just two topics. Three responses weighing the immigration decision ran on Wednesday, and eight discussing healthcare were published in Friday's paper.

Of course, with reader responses continuing to pour in and The Times publishing several articles on the topics (including an editorial, Op-Ed article and a roundup of reaction on Friday's opinion pages), the discussions on the immigration and healthcare decisions on our pages won't end with the two batches of submissions already published. Expect to read more letters to the editor on these topics next week.


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