Judges must uphold Constitution
A Nov. 14 Opinion Line comment asked: “What gives any judge, Supreme Court or otherwise, the power to overrule the will of the people?” The answer, if grade school education has any impact anymore, is the Constitution of the United States, and more specially the Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791 and constructed to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.
Many majorities, from time to time, have tried by vote to take freedoms away from those who disagreed with them. Judges have the job of scrutinizing laws to ensure that they do not conflict with the Constitution.
Should the Opinion Line questioner wish to have it otherwise, all he or she has to do is get an amendment to the Constitution to a vote by both houses of Congress, pass it by a two-thirds vote, and then have each state ratify the amendment within, typically, seven years.
Incidentally, of the thousands of proposals to amend the Constitution, only 33 obtained the necessary two-thirds vote in Congress. Of those 33, only 27 amendments (including the Bill of Rights) have been ratified.
PHILIP H. SCHNEIDER
Act of hostility
I am proud of Gov. Sam Brownback’s support for traditional marriage. I think it demonstrates a courage and commitment to principle that people greatly desire but rarely see. Yet his resolve has not fully been tested.
My question to the governor is: Are we, the citizens of Kansas, still a self-governing people? The answer lies in what Brownback does next. We know the federal government will prevail in this matter, though not with respect to law, but force. Is Brownback prepared to respond in kind?
We, as adults, have enjoyed the liberty to decide for ourselves what we think about homosexuality and marriage. Our kids, if you blink, won’t. They will be coerced in schools to accept the federal doctrine that homosexual unions are as equal in value to humanity as heterosexual ones.
If the state of Kansas, under Brownback’s governorship, submits to a federal decree, our children, amid the tumult of adolescence, will be instructed that homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender identity are as equal and safe as avenues of exploration as those of mom and dad. I think that can be safely regarded as an act of hostility.
I wanted to focus on children in this letter, because they are seldom mentioned in the debate of marriage and sexuality – which is curious to me, because it is the very design of sexuality and marriage to produce them.
I, too, am concerned that “marriage could lose its meaning” (Nov. 17 Letters to the Editor). I propose that together we invest trust and goodwill in a wide and compassionate discussion of our fears, hopes and commitments.
Could it be that marriage laws and policies fully including persons of same-sex orientation would ultimately strengthen and enrich all marriages rather than be a threat? Might the benefits of including persons with same-sex orientations strengthen the social order and contribute to the health and vitality of our common good? If solemnly covenanted, publicly honored marriage is a good for us heterosexuals, why would we seek to prevent morally upright, respected persons, many of whom are our trusted public servants, many of whom are people of faith and committed to all the same core values we seek to advance, from having the same respected relationship so precious to us – just because of their different sexual orientation?
Have we counted the enormous costs we have been imposing on our collective social order by our exclusions? Have we considered the cost to our own spiritual and emotional health in fostering fear and choosing the burden of excluding those who are different from us? The toll of exclusion is dark and sinister; the life of trust, invitation, inclusion and friendship is liberating, inspiring and exhilarating.
The Affordable Care Act is not cynicism, as columnist Charles Krauthammer said (Nov. 15 Opinion). It is an outright prearranged deception foisted on the American citizens by the Obama administration because we are too stupid to know what is best for us.
The healthy must pay for the sick, even if it means the healthy will suffer the loss of their own health plan, doctor and preferred hospital, and will have to pay for a government-approved plan with higher deductibles and a higher price tag – which will mean a lower standard of living or giving up having health insurance for themselves.
For what the ACA has already cost the American taxpayer, a large health savings account could have been set up for each family that could not afford health care and the rest of us could have been left alone.
Not very smart
The writer of “Smart voters” (Nov. 11 Letters to the Editor) thinks voters in Kansas woke up to the failed policies of Democrats and voted Dumb and Dumber back in office. I wonder if the writer read the front page of The Eagle on Nov. 11.
The state is facing a $279 million shortfall this fiscal year and a $436 million shortfall next fiscal year. This old Democrat wouldn’t call that smart. I’d call it stupid to vote for more of that.
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