Friday, April 20, 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

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18