Letters to the Editor

Letters on constitutional convention, replacing Scalia, recess, Obama card

New constitutional convention a bad idea

The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia often described himself as a constitutional textualist. I suspect that, as such, he would be appalled at the Kansas Legislature’s recent misguided attempt to rewrite the Constitution (Feb. 19 Eagle).

Since the first and only constitutional convention in Philadelphia in 1787, brokered by James Madison and colleagues, the Constitution has endured. There have been 27 constitutional amendments approved by a three-fourths majority of the states, including the salient first 10 amendments known collectively as the Bill of Rights.

The Constitution is the basic foundation for the freedoms of all the people. Do we really want to expose the original text to the extreme political polarization that exists today? The amendment process is a better option to cautiously address contemporary concerns.

Under the Constitution, laws are written by elected representatives, implemented and enforced by an elected executive, and interpreted by the judiciary based on the rule of law. In short, it works. The question is whom do you trust: People who want to rewrite the Constitution to fit their narrow ideology, or James Madison et al?

William C. Skaer, Wichita

Someone like Scalia

Looking at the ordinary meaning of the text of a law, not merely the possible range of meaning of each of its constituent words, is not extremism. Basing interpretation of the Constitution on what reasonable persons living at the time of its adoption would have declared the ordinary meaning of the text to be is not extremism. Regarding the Constitution as an enduring document, rather than a live or dead one, is not extremism. Conservatism is not extremism.

As every president should, President Obama would serve the moderation of both conservative and liberal Americans and their common bond to liberty if both he and the Senate replaced former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with someone like Scalia.

Ron A. Hoffman, Rose Hill

School is for kids

Regarding “Parents urge school board to give kids more recess time” (Feb. 9 Eagle): Everyone knows recess is the time for fun with your friends. Even businesses give break time to their employees.

In all the controversy over schools with our governor and Legislature, not once have I heard the important thing: School is for kids. Instead, the emphasis seems to be on money and teachers. Rep. John Bradford, R-Lansing, even suggested there be only one school district in 98 of our 105 counties. How absurd.

I know it takes money to run a school. I was a school board member for eight years and a dedicated teacher for 33 years. I have been a principal and a coach. I never gave homework.

Children don’t like homework, and many teachers don’t grade it. What’s the point?

Instead, I would like to see schools organize a reading program. Ask each child to read something each evening. It could be a short story, a chapter of a book, or whatever is of interest to the child. Perhaps reading test scores might improve.

Jean Grundy, Eureka

Thanks for card?

I got a surprise in my mailbox Monday – an envelope from the White House containing an embossed card signed by Barack and Michelle Obama, wishing me a happy birthday and thanking me for my service to our country.

Though I appreciate the sentiments, I am left puzzled. It has been 45 years since I wore a uniform, and my birthday was two months ago. After seven years in office, why a card now? Better late than never?

I feel sure there are thousands like me who receive such cards. I can only hope their cards are a little more timely, lest they think the White House is out of touch.

Larry Novak, Augusta

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