Letters to the Editor

Readers write about Supreme Court politics, immigrant workers, potential conflict with Iran, and green lumberjack competitions.

The Supreme Court should not act on political beliefs

Regarding the June 30 article, "A less deferential high court": The article mentions the principle of judicial minimalism. I think our Supreme Court needs to follow this idea strictly. The Supreme Court was never meant to be a political body. It was supposed to be the branch outside the fray of politics that kept everyone else following the rules laid out in the Constitution. This was enshrined in an early court decision (Marbury v. Madison) that claimed for the court the right of "judicial review."

Unfortunately, the reporting of what I would call sniping at each other's politics, engaged in by members of the court, shows that perhaps these members have themselves fallen into the trap of using the judiciary as a back door to enact their own set of political beliefs.

The litmus test for a decision should be, "Is this allowed for in our Constitution?" not, "What do the people (conservative or liberal) think we should do?"

Shouldn't we be willing to follow our own rules as a country? After all, if we really think something in the Constitution is out of whack, we can always amend it. That is itself a difficult task, but shouldn't it be?

Howard Cornett
Syracuse, N.Y.

Immigrant workers support US jobs

In response to David Francis's June 23 commentary, "Immigration crackdown may boost US job prospects": The column perpetuates the flawed notion that the number of jobs in the US economy is fixed and that each immigrant employed here is depriving a US worker of a job. The reality is starkly different. In agriculture, for instance, the US government estimates that between half and three quarters of the 2.5 million farmworkers are immigrants not properly authorized to work in the US.

Few Americans apply for farm work. Yet, each farmworker job supports three to four American jobs in the surrounding economy – packaging, processing, transportation, equipment sales, and service. Without farmworkers, fruit, dairy, nursery, and vegetable production will move offshore. So will most of the related-economy jobs. Bottom line – immigrant farmworkers create US jobs.

Craig Regelbrugge

US could deter retaliation from Iran

Regarding the June 20 article, "The implications of a war with Iran": The risk that Iran might one day use proxies to set off a nuclear bomb in a US city is so great it justifies the risks this article discusses. But the article greatly exaggerates the danger of retaliation by Tehran, while ignoring the United States' capacity to deter it. The US could disarm Iran in a few days – including its offensive missiles.

Helpless to defend its airspace and facing the strongest air forces ever seen, Iran would be far less free to act than the article suggests. The US could warn that it would answer any retaliation by turning its air power on even more targets – e.g., the Revolutionary Guard, the Army, refineries, and main government buildings.

Mike Hollins
Los Angeles

Suggestion for greener lumber sports

In response to the June 25 backstory article, "Chip off the old block": Rather than promoting the unsustainable aspects of forestry described in the article on collegiate lumberjacks, I propose the following green woodsmen events: tree planting, pallet recycling, brush clearing, and non-native species removal. Further, points should be deducted for power tools generating excessive air and/or noise pollution.

Penelope Everall Gordon

Alameda, Calif.

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