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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Impeachment trial gives John Roberts a chance to defend judicial independence

John Roberts
Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
(Larry Downing / Associated Press)

To the editor: It is interesting that Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., in his year-end report on the judiciary, stresses the importance of independent courts and the need to promote public confidence in the judiciary.

In a highly partisan political environment where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has promised to work closely with the defendant in the upcoming impeachment trial of President Trump, Roberts will have the unique opportunity to prove that he is not just paying lip service to the concept of a free and independent judiciary.

Roberts is uniquely qualified to demonstrate that the judiciary is not another branch of a sycophantic Justice Department and an obsequious Senate majority. He has a crucial role to play in ensuring that democracy is alive and well.

Charles Blankson, Fontana

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To the editor: Why do Americans appear to “take for granted” the benefits of our Constitution, as Roberts warns? Most likely because they just don’t see the benefits.

The gymnastic rationalizations of judicial decisions that far too often coincide perfectly with the ideological perspective of the president who appointed them leave many of us less than convinced that there’s truly very much democracy here. Judicial performance is hardly evaluated — peer review is all there is, and peers have a vested interest in sustaining the status quo.

Roberts’ statements about the impact of “rumor” and false information are extremely telling. They are a perfect example of the very thing about which he complains. Should the fact that, as he prepares to preside over the impeachment trial, Roberts has never tried a case as a judge really instill confidence in our democracy?

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Art Meneses, Menifee

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To the editor: If Roberts truly believes in democracy, the first thing he will do when he assumes the role of judge of the upcoming impeachment trial is to disqualify Sens. McConnell and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) from voting. Both men have stated publicly and forcefully that they have made up their minds prior to hearing any evidence.

This is not democracy in action, nor is it upholding the rule of law. This is, plain and simply, following the Communist doctrine that states the end justifies the means.

Unfortunately, I doubt that what I propose will ever happen.

Karl F. Schmid, Los Angeles


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