Sunday, June 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Pasco letters: Reject GOP attack on independent judiciary

GOP attack on judiciary is wrong

The Republican Party has made a conscious decision to assail the independence of Florida's judiciary on two fronts this November. A frontal assault comes in the form of a proposed amendment to our state constitution, and a flank assault in the form of trying to force judges to comply with the will of the party.

In a move to reduce the third branch of government from an equal partner with the executive and legislative branches, the GOP attached Amendment Five to the upcoming ballot. Amendment Five would strip the courts of a great deal of their rule-making authority, and give the Legislature control on many issues. This is a clearly abusive attempt to wrest control from what is supposed to be an equal partner in our government. Our founding fathers saw the wisdom of an independent judiciary to rein in a politicized Legislature from passing laws that violate the very tenet of our Constitution.

The GOP has also seen fit to try a flank attack by removing highly qualified, but independent judges from the Florida Supreme Court. Years ago, Florida decided the best way to keep its highest judiciary out of the political fray, was to require "merit retention" elections. If an appellate judge acted in a grossly improper fashion contrary to the community sensibilities, he or she could be removed from office by this means. However, it was never intended to act as a means to remove a judge simply for doing his or her job by deciding a case on the facts and law presented, or on the constitutionality of a legislative bill.

The GOP, still fuming over losing some issues that were very controversial, decided that if it can't control the highest court in the state, then the best action is to replace it with judges who will do its bidding. This is a bad idea. The courts remain a neutral arbiter between the highly charged political atmosphere of the Legislature and the people who may disagree with new proposed laws.

Craig A. Laporte, Port Richey

Voter purge effort just despicable

Can someone please answer a simple question? How much taxpayer money has been spent trying to purge 198 people out of 11.4 million voters? As a concerned citizen, I have a right to know.

This whole thing is nothing more than voter suppression and it's despicable.

Frank Hudak, Hudson

Comments

Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18