Trump gets a pass
“High court OKs Trump's travel ban, rejects Muslim bias claim” (sacbee.com, June 26): Four weeks ago the Supreme Court, in an opinion by Sacramento's own Anthony Kennedy, ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to serve a same-sex couple wishing to buy a wedding cake. The opinion turned largely on the conclusion that statements by members of a state commission that had ruled against the baker had shown unconstitutional "animosity" toward his religious beliefs. Kennedy cited legal precedent. That pales in comparison to Trump's repeated statements of animosity toward Muslims. Yet, given the chance to enforce the Constitution and "the rights it secures," Kennedy gave Trump a pass.
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The recent Supreme Court's' rulings on redistricting, the travel ban and now pregnancy centers seriously leads to question whether there’s any impartiality by the judges. It is becoming painfully obvious that a justice can conveniently find some point of law or rationale to support the positions of whichever party nominated him or her. Wearing black robes is supposed to give us a sense that they are all wise and respected. I suggest that we stop this charade and have them wear red or blue to reveal their true biases.
Richard Kuechle, Lincoln
Left to the GOP
“Justice Kennedy’s retirement ends era of Central California values on the Supreme Court” (Editorials, June 27): The retirement Justice Kennedy is the single most devastating blow to American civil rights, justice, the environment, labor rights and gender equality in American history. Kennedy obviously did this because he knows that the Republican Party will take an unprecedented hit in the November elections, making it impossible for Trump to nominate a replacement. He is condemning America's future to the slag heap of Republican butchery. Had he waited until after the November elections, his legacy would have been secure. As it is now, history will condemn him as principal cause of the death of our most important and necessary ideals. Had I ever taken a law class from him, as my son did, I would tear up the transcript and burn the pieces. He is now the Benedict Arnold of the 21st century.
Jim Snoke, Weed
Return of ‘50s
“We say farewell to Anthony Kennedy, but we already said goodbye to his Sacramento” (Marcos Breton, June 27): With the departure of Justice Kennedy from the Supreme Court its decisions will become strongly conservative for many years to come. One prominent news commentator has already predicted Roe v. Wade will be overturned within a year. Many other civil rights and related matters may be gradually returned to their status of the 1950s. While the liberal philosophy of many Sacramento residents will remain, the influence of conservative national laws will have an impact. Civil rights disputes, say for employment requirements or union activities, will be taken to the courts and eventually decided by a very conservative Supreme Court.
David Fibush, Rocklin
Ban on soda taxes
“Local soda taxes would be banned in California under developing deal” (sacbee.com, June 24): In 1994, Proposition 188 was placed on the statewide ballot by Big Tobacco in an attempt to stop the wave of indoor clean air laws that were sweeping California. This was modeled after a failed legislative effort championed by Big Tobacco that year to pre-empt local tobacco control victories. The resemblance to SB 872 today and the potential November 2018 ballot measure being backed by Big Oil and Big Soda to limit local taxes is striking. Proposition 188 was overwhelmingly defeated 71-to-29 by voters, who saw through Big Tobacco's deception. California legislators should therefore reject the “developing deal” proposed by SB 872 to ban soda taxes, and instead have faith that the intelligence of California voters will ultimately prevail once again.
John Maa, San Francisco
Use of deadly force
“Don't be so fast to dismiss California's use-of-force bill” (Editorials, June 27): This bill or something like it is a real solution to our police shooting problem. What we have had up to now are 007s in our police departments. Police officers in the United States are legally allowed to kill anyone who they believe is dangerous. This is an attitude of a standing army among enemy troops. It has to be changed, if in our democracy, we want our people to move to respecting and supporting the police in their neighborhoods. Anyone saying “gun, gun, gun” should be arrested for inciting violence if no gun is found.
Thomas J Planesi, Rocklin
Value of unions
“The Supreme Court mutes California unions, and gives billionaires a megaphone” (sacbee.com, June 27): It is not difficult to understand the value of having a strong union. There are those who think the union does nothing for them and they will drop out. But think about this: A weak union has no leverage at the bargaining table for wages and job protections. A right-to-work environment means you're an at-will employee. Be assured our pensions will be under attack. The solution to this is to be a member and hold your elected leaders accountable, or run for office and make change happen. Workers need political friends to fight off special interests. Dropping out isn't the answer. Joining is.
Paul Coke, Sacramento
“Sacramento homeless shelter: 60 percent have mental illness among 100 moving into homes” (sacbee.com, June 17): The work that the North Sacramento shelter is doing is truly amazing. It's very unfortunate that nearby businesses are suffering. Recently, I went on an immersion to L.A.’s Skid Row, where one business takes in homeless women to work at this cafe and gift boutique. What if businesses in Sacramento did the same?
Help for hospitals
“Homeless patients discharged to the streets? Hospitals can do better” (sacbee.com, June 22): Dr. Jain's op-ed urging the passage of SB 1152, which mandates hospitals discharge homeless patients to a sheltered location with supportive services, seems reasonable on its face. However, in many if not most cases, such facilities are not available. Also, the bill provides no funding for hospitals to house such patients. Such a bill is reasonable only if at the same time a network of such facilities is created. Otherwise hospital beds will increasingly be occupied by homeless patients who cannot be discharged. Our politicians have failed repeatedly to address the problem of homelessness. Now they would like hospitals to do it and that is not reasonable. Some cities have found that providing housing and supportive services for homeless patients actually saves money by reducing their health care costs. It's time for California to give that approach a try.
Jack Kashtan, Sacramento
“Yolo County supervisors vote to keep housing teen immigrants for federal authorities” (sacbee.com, June 26): Unaccompanied immigrant minors not convicted of crimes are housed indefinitely at a facility in Yolo County. This has been the case for 10 years. Yolo contracts with U.S. Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to house 24 undocumented teenage immigrants a year. Recently Yolo voted to keep this facility open because ORR is offering an additional $2.2 million to hopefully alleviate acting out problems manifested by detainees. This is essentially $87,500 per detainee per year not counting the existing budget. Why? Ask yourself if you were kept caged for no real reason from age 14-17 wouldn't you act out too? Housing these youth in homes in the community would be less costly and more humane. This is just the tip of the Immigrant iceberg. The U.S. will soon be bankrupt fiscally as well as morally.
Karla LaZier, Sacramento
A state divided
“This one issue could make splitting California into three states virtually impossible” (sacbee.com, June 25): The three-way split is a disaster. Water isn’t the problem. Liberal Tim Draper wants to hijack the momentum of splitting the state east and west, or the northern State of Jefferson. This would be a liberal coup, creating six liberal senators from the three states, affectingly disenfranchising libertarian and conservative citizens in California forever. No, this can’t happen
Paul Reid, Folsom
“This type of care can sharply reduce medical costs, so why aren't doctors ordering it?” (sacbee.com, June 25): I am thankful for Cathie Anderson's informative article about palliative care. My late husband received such care in his suffering with Alzheimer's. It is my hope that Congressman Tom McClintock as well as Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris will co-sponsor the Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act to ensure there’s an adequate, well-trained, palliative care work force. This legislation would not only save money, but would provide a better quality of life for the millions who are suffering like my husband.