Control of the Court
Clearly, the Supreme Court of the United States has become something that the Founding Fathers never intended. This is made clear by former 7th District congressman Ed Bryant when he said, "After Alito, we [Republicans] will need one more to ensure long-term control of the court" (Politics, January 19th issue).
The Founding Fathers intended the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution and to be free from political influence. Ideally, the Supreme Court would be made up of nine justices who interpret the Constitution without regard to partisan politics or an agenda prescribed by the president. Ideally, when a case comes before the Supreme Court nobody, not the media and certainly not the president, would be able to predict the outcome of the ruling. Can anybody remember when this was actually the case?
Jeffrey E. ReebMemphis
A Good Read
Jackson Baker's analysis of the 2006 Senate race is a good read (Politics, January 19th issue). Your readers should know that not everyone in East Tennessee loves and/or supports Bob Corker. For proof, check out some alternate perspectives from The Chattanoogan (chattanoogan.com), the newspaper for Corker's adopted howntown.
Robert T. Nash
For all the folks unhappy with Memphis' affairs: Move to Mississippi. We would love to have you. Black, white, brown, or whatever. It has amazed me over the years how people were elected with agendas other than the city's welfare as their number-one priority.
This isn't a racial issue. I called Memphis home for 30 years. Not any more. The ineffectual policing of all the "race tracks" around town (I-240 and I-40) was enough to push me over the line. Just this morning, a speeding Camaro passed a marked patrol car -- and me -- going at least 70 mph. The cop and I were doing the speed limit (55 mph). I had to laugh. The Camaro never broke speed, and we all went on our merry way. Only in Memphis. Ya'll come on down to where a politician's job security is determined by his or her performance, not their social agenda.
Dave BallardSouthaven, Mississippi
In response to Al Gore's speech (Viewpoint, January 19th issue), White House spokesman Scott McClellan claimed the Clinton-Gore administration had engaged in warrantless physical searches, and he cited an FBI search of the home of CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames. He said Clinton's deputy attorney general, Jamie Gorelick, had testified before Congress that the president had the inherent authority to engage in physical searches without warrants. McClellan continued about Gore: "I think his hypocrisy knows no bounds."
May I set the record straight? At the time of the Ames search in 1993, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act required warrants for electronic surveillance for intelligence purposes but did not cover physical searches. The law was changed to cover physical searches in 1995, under legislation that Clinton supported and signed.
So McClellan's claim is a spurious attempt to spin the real story. If the president believes that he has the inherent authority to abuse the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans, what does he have to fear from an independent council investigation? Instead of actually responding to allegations, this White House has chosen to go on the attack. When will this administration level with the public? When will Americans demand accountability from this administration?
Ben Franklin said, "The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either." I think that America is in danger of losing both. I praise Al Gore for standing up for the rights of all Americans.
Alito Fits the Mold
The Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 that the Bush administration went too far in trying to block Oregon's assisted suicide law. The three dissenting votes were Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and new chief justice John Roberts. Bush told us all along he was going to appoint justices in the mold of Scalia and Thomas, and that's exactly what we got. The Supreme Court now has three ultraconservatives.
Roberts deceived America as to his true nature at his confirmation hearing. Samuel Alito has used the same evasive tactics to mask his intentions during his confirmation hearing. Odds are that Alito also fits the mold of Scalia and Thomas.
Nevada City, California