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Letters to the Editor for June 8

Friday, June 8, 2012
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Viewpoint on Court didn’t exactly have its facts straight

Edwin Reilly’s May 27 Viewpoint, “Supreme Court not empowered to declare laws unconstitutional,” focuses on the supposed lack of checks and balances between the three branches of government. Please note the “supposed.”

Reilly states, “The only check of Congress on the federal judiciary is that judges, too, even Supreme Court justices, can be impeached, and, if convicted, removed from office, but that has never happened.” In fact, numerous instances have occurred in which members of the federal judiciary have been impeached and convicted. Judge John Pickering and Judge West Hughes Humphreys are two examples.

Also, Congress has the ability to amend the Constitution, a right that supersedes any Supreme Court ruling. If the Supreme Court declares a law unconstitutional, Congress can attempt to pass the law as an amendment. This occurred following Pollack v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co., in which the Supreme Court ruled the income tax unconstitutional; it later passed the 16th Amendment, [giving it] the power to “lay and collect taxes on incomes.”

Another erroneous point regards the relationship between the judicial and legislative branches. Reilly states that the “court’s constitutional check on Congress” is constitutionally non-existent. Apparently he overlooked Article III, Section II, which grants the Supreme Court the authority to decide whether laws passed by Congress are indeed constitutional.

Finally, Reilly concludes by stating that the court’s decision in Marbury v. Madison declared unconstitutional the Judiciary Act of 1789. In and of itself, this is true; however, his statement that the court ruled that “congressional action that attempted to enhance the Supreme Court power was ‘repugnant’ to the Constitution,” is taken out of context — enough that it may fall under the category of revisionist history.

Chief Justice Marshall stated, “If an act of the legislature, repugnant to the constitution, is void, does it ... bind the courts, and oblige them to give it effect? Or, in other words, though it be not law, does it constitute a rule as operative as if it was a law? ‘It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is’ If, then, the courts are to regard the Constitution, and the Constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the legislature, the Constitution, and not such ordinary act, must govern the case to which they both apply.” Simply put, the court is not bound to follow an unconstitutional law, which includes the Judiciary Act of 1789.

Contrary to what Mr. Reilly claims, my high school teachers taught it correctly.

Rebekah Kimble

Scotia

Letter writer stacked deck against Obama

Timothy J. Gaffney Sr.’s May 31 letter, “Obama presidency a failure on many counts,” is both false and misleading.

Bush’s $10 trillion debt, compared to the current $15 trillion, is because Obama put the cost of two wars on the books, where they should have been all the time.

There are fewer people working today than when Obama took office because our 30-year experiment with deregulation and free-for-all capitalism almost collapsed the entire global economy. The day Obama took office, the U.S. economy was shedding 700,000 jobs a month.

The sovereign debt of the United States was downgraded because radical tea party Republicans wanted to tear down the government rather than compromise on a $4 trillion grand bargain that put both Social Security and Medicare reform on the table along with increased taxes for the top brackets. It was a tremendous missed opportunity to end all the uncertainty and get the economy moving again.

The Keystone pipeline is not stopped, it’s awaiting final environmental reviews — which should be completed like any other major project with the potential to affect hundreds of thousands of lives. There is less dependency on foreign oil today than there was under Bush; energy is currently our No. 1 export.

Our president is not waging war on religion. He already put forth a fair compromise that was acceptable to all but a few radical conservative bishops who would like to deny birth control to all Catholics.

And finally, for anyone who’s working for a living, we all better hope that this president gets reelected because if he doesn’t, we can kiss goodbye to what’s left of the middle class. The big money has already rigged the economy. They privatize profit, socialize loss and call it capitalism.

Frank DeSantis

Gloversville

Marchione represents new breed of Spa GOP

The Republican Party has a proud tradition standing for openness and honesty in politics. Unfortunately, Saratoga GOP Chairman Jasper Nolan seems to have forgotten about that tradition.

Three months ago, [state Sen.] Roy McDonald used gerrymandering to remove the communities that were most dissatisfied with his liberal record, even though he signed a pledge that he wouldn’t. Roy did this because he faces a serious problem: The more people learn about his record, the more upset they are.

Wilton Republicans are very familiar with Roy, as he was our supervisor for more than two decades. Knowing Roy as we do, the Republican committee supported [Saratoga County Clerk] Kathy Marchione. Other Republican committees have repeatedly voted to endorse Marchione instead of McDonald because they believe in Kathy’s vision of lower taxes, lower spending and less regulation. They also know that Kathy’s vote is not for sale.

Since normal Republicans are no longer supporting Roy, the political bosses — led by Jasper Nolan — have resorted to arm-twisting and manipulation.

Republican committees throughout the county are now made up of people concerned about honesty and integrity in politics, and fewer people holding politically appointed jobs. This has lessened the control the political machine, of which McDonald and Nolan are part of, can exert.

Kathy Marchione will be a breath of fresh air in Albany. If there’s one thing to be learned from this entire process, it’s that Kathy will owe nothing to the political bosses when she becomes our state senator.

Elaine Gerber

Wilton

The writer is vice chairwoman of the Wilton Republican Committee.

Chopper helps wage fight against child abuse

On behalf of Prevent Child Abuse New York and the many children and families who benefit from our work, I’d like to thank Price Chopper Supermarkets and their associates and customers for raising more than $37,000 in its recent Child Abuse Prevention Month pin-up campaign.

Price Chopper joined the fight against child abuse 10 years ago with a pin-up campaign in New York stores. Today their customers and associates are raising money in six states. Their generosity has made a lasting and tangible difference to Prevent Child Abuse New York and our sister chapters.

In an economic climate where most corporations are reducing their support for nonprofits, Price Chopper stands out as a model of good corporate citizenship. Thanks again to Price Chopper for recognizing that today’s children are tomorrow’s future.

Christine Deyss

Albany

The writer is executive director for Prevent Child Abuse New York.

U.S. should cut aid abroad, hike it here

Why is it that we borrow money from foreign countries, increasing our debt, and then help out countries that hate us and don’t have to pay us back?

Instead we should be helping out our own people.

Why should Schoharie and other counties affected with tornadoes and other disasters have to wait so long and practically beg for assistance? Politics is a bunch of bull and is ruining our country.

Politicians, wake up and run our country right. If we don’t have it, don’t borrow and put us further in debt. We’re giving financial aid to Iraq when they have billions of dollars in oil.

James Maxfield

Scotia

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comments

June 8, 2012
11:56 a.m.
JLibertarian says...

Mr. DeSantis: Let me start off with I never voted for President Bush and I haven't voted for a Republican candidate for President since 1988. I am not a registered Republican either.

People such as yourself have no idea of the facts. First, President Bush did not have a $10 trillion debt. The amount of debt accumulated under President Bush was roughly $5 trillion. Secondly, yes President Bush had the cost of the wars off the books for good reason. If that cost was added to the budget, it would then become part of the baseline budget for the successive year. What this means is Congress would see how much was spent in the previous year to use that to base the next year's spending on thus keeping the high spending into perpetuity. President Obama has not included the cost of the wars in his spending but he is trying to claim the ending of the wars as spending reductions going forward. And under his administration, the debt has risen more than $5 trillion dollars in only 3.5 years as compared to President Bush in 8 years.

You then claim that the low in employment is due to some made up 30-year experiment in deregulation and free-for-all capitalism. This is so far from the truth it is laughable. What 30-year experiment are you talking about? What capitalism are you talking about? Do you even know what capitalism is?

The housing market collapsed because the government forced banks to give mortgages to unqualified people. And then was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. But guess what? That was all done during the end of the Clinton Administration. And our "illustrious" Governer who was Secretary of HUD, was jubilant over this.

You next blame the downgrade of our nation's debt on T.E.A. Party Republicans which is totally false. It was the Democrat controlled Senate that refused to even discuss any options. And the President who commissioned the Boles-Simpson Debt Commission, refused to even consider any of its proposals. I believe that is the so-called "Grand Bargain" you mention. The Democrats want nothing to do with reforming Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. The Republicans have put several reform measures on the table.

Your last point that the Keystone pipeline is not stopped is true but that is misleading. That proposal has been in the works for more than four years. It has been revised to alleviate the environmental concerns and yet the President still refuses to give it a yes or a no. The reason is purely political and I will bet you a million dollars that after the election he will give it a thumbs up. There is not less dependency on foreign oil today and any increase in oil production is due to the permits that President Bush approved and oil production on private lands. What is being exported is gasoline and that is because out economy is so weak we don't need it here.

June 8, 2012
noon
JLibertarian says...

Ms. Kimble: I wrote a similar letter to yours to The Gazette but they didn't publish it (yet). You said pretty much what I said although I also mentioned the Federalist Papers which explained the role of the Supreme Court more clearly. Anyway, thank you for setting Mr. Reilly straight.

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