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Letters to the Editor: Has the Supreme Court put us on the path to civil war?

Supporters of abortion rights protest the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
Supporters of abortion rights protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, in West Hollywood on Friday.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

To the editor: In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a Black man was not a citizen and therefore had no right to control his own body. For a number of years, many in the South had already been threatening secession, but the court’s decision so shocked the North that people there too were in a frame of mind that our country was of two cultures. (“Supreme Court is emboldened, conservative and ready to push further right,” June 25)

Thus, the Civil War began in 1861.

The Mississippi abortion case decided on Friday is eerily parallel. It is the Dred Scott case of our time. The justices decided that more than 50% of our population do not have the right to control their own bodies. And just as in the 1850s, for a number of years some have been talking about secession.

This court decision has so shocked the rest of us, we no longer recognize our country. It puts us in a frame of mind that we truly are two countries. With communications being much faster than in Scott’s day, the next civil war may come more quickly.

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I do not want to see the bloody conflict that right-wing militias are thirsting for. I would rather the matter be decided with a nationwide referendum. I write this with a saddened heart.

Maile Melkonian, Visalia, Calif.

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To the editor: In just one week, a corrupt Supreme Court ripped this nation apart. The court is corrupt because Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett lied to the Senate about their predetermined intent to overrule Roe vs. Wade.

It also did great damage by ripping up the separation of church and state in requiring Maine taxpayers to subsidize private religious education, and by overturning New York state’s gun law.

Violence. Minority rule. Demolished women’s rights. Disgusting and terrifying.

Eileen McDargh Elvins, Dana Point

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To the editor: For as long as I can remember, the Supreme Court has been a battleground for partisan politics. Every presidential vote I have ever made was influenced by the fear of the appointment of partisan judges who would overturn Roe vs. Wade or uphold anti-gay legislation.

Now, in the aftermath of Roe vs. Wade’s reversal, as many Americans continue to question the legitimacy of yet another of our democratic institutions, it occurs to me how disturbing this is.

No one, conservative, liberal or moderate, should be voting year after year for president in order to mold the judicial branch. It is chipping away at our valuable separation of powers.

The process for selecting Supreme Court justices needs to be revamped, so that it truly becomes its own institution, and not just a reflection of the partisans who shaped it.

Raishel Wasserman, Newbury Park

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To the editor: The United States was created by the acts of countless selfless persons. Now, it has been wrecked by a countable number of selfish persons.

Our former system of checks and balances, protecting us from government overreach, is gone. People used to enter government service to provide service. Most people who run for government offices or become judges seem to do it now not to serve the public, but to obtain power.

Those now entering government service are no longer representatives; they’re partisans. That members of Congress became partisans disabled the executive branch. Now, the Supreme Court’s decision overturning the nearly 50-year-old Roe vs. Wade opinion shows it too has broken down from partisanship.

Federal judges receive lifetime appointments so they can do their work without worry about interference from politics. Lifetime appointments were not meant to allow prospective appointees to lie during confirmation hearings.

I have been a litigator for 35 years, but no more. There is no reason to research the law or argue cases if judges may simply disagree with precedent and issue opinions based on personal belief instead of stare decisis.

James Ellis Arden, Glendale


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