U.S. Supreme Court is a joke, says letter to The Modesto Bee editor | Opinion

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U.S. Supreme Court is a joke

Last year, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito complained that “saying or implying that the court is becoming an illegitimate institution or questioning our integrity crosses an important line.” At the time, his comments lacked any semblance of self-awareness, and only look worse in hindsight. In reality, a line is crossed when court rulings ignore stare decisis (precedent), are blatantly partisan, reek of specious argumentation and treat women as second-class citizens.

And the continued presence of Clarence Thomas is proof that the court lacks integrity. Thomas is one of two justices to have been credibly accused of sexual assault. He failed to recuse himself from cases involving the Big Lie even though his spouse is an insurrectionist. And he has repeatedly violated ethics by failing to report lavish gifts from a billionaire with an agenda. Chief Justice John Roberts said he isn’t planning to investigate Thomas. Astonishingly, unlike the lower courts, the Supreme Court has no official code of ethics.

Thomas must resign or be impeached. Moreover, the justices who lied under oath in their confirmation hearings must also be impeached. Perhaps then the court will regain its legitimacy and integrity.

Christopher C. Doll, Salida

Why are we blasé about guns?

Guns don’t kill people — people kill people.” This is a tired cliché that fails to mention that people typically kill people by gun. And mass shooters typically use an assault rifle.

Republican lawmakers consistently argue against any gun control. In terms of direct payments and indirect support against opponents in reelection campaigns, GOP legislators have accepted scores of millions of National Rifle Association dollars. Any connection there? These same legislators cite mental health as the cause — even though the GOP is not often applauded for supporting social and mental health programs. And while this argument is legitimate, our mental health issues are not unique.

What is unique is our blasé attitude about mass proliferation of guns. Those of us civilians who own guns have no legitimate reason to possess an assault rifle, which is used exclusively to kill many, quickly. Although the Second Amendment guarantees our right to bear arms, the framers could not have envisioned citizens owning killing machines to wreak havoc on society.

Is it time to re-amend the Second — or at least seriously massage it?

Jim Hoagland, Ripon

Trump deserves all this scrutiny

Donald Trump is being investigated for several alleged crimes, including seditious conspiracy concerning the insurrection on Jan. 6, and stolen classified documents stored at Mar-a-Lago. He refers to all these investigations as a witch hunt. He may be right. He has most certainly been “hunted” ever since he came down the golden escalator.

The national press, the “fake media,” have all analyzed his conduct: the never-ending lies; his dismal attempt at governing; the sad and slimy record of his administration. In fact, his conduct confirms his title as an evil force because he slavishly praised brutal dictators like Putin, Orbán and Kim Jong Un; publicly bragged about sexual conquests; belittled racial minorities and encouraged anti-American groups like the Proud Boys and other white supremacists; and refused to take the COVID plague seriously, risking the lives of millions of Americans. Is it any wonder that he has been hunted?

Paul Neumann, Modesto

Get tough with homeless

We have a serious homelessness problem in Modesto, no doubt. The altruistic approach has not worked to date and is unlikely to ever work.

Leadership needs to recognize the facts: Many homeless are mentally ill and addicted. They need treatment, involuntarily if necessary. A return to a state hospital-type program is the solution. There also are the lazy — who will remain so until they stop receiving handouts — who are allowed to violate the basic rules of society and decency. Trespassing, vandalism, and public defecation are illegal. Our leadership needs to simply insist that the law be enforced. Are “I don’t like rules” and “I’m not a people person” adequate excuses for not complying with the law or following rules? What about the rights of property and business owners?

There are those who need a hand up, not a handout. They are the group that should be targeted for assistance at safe, secure, comfortable facilities with education and job training assistance. California has the largest homeless population, and for good reason: handouts. Anyone can make the easy decisions; it takes real leadership to make the hard, right decisions.

Tim Hodgson, Modesto