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  1. Opinion

Impeachment was never supposed to be impartial

Here’s what readers are saying in Monday’s letters to the editor.
Presiding Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts swears in members of the Senate for the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. [AP]
Presiding Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts swears in members of the Senate for the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. [AP]
Published Jan. 17

By definition, a partisan process

Impartiality key to impeachment | Column, Jan. 15

This column is wrong to the core. Partiality is intrinsic to the impeachment process. It cannot be otherwise. In fact, it was planned that way. Impeachment means merely an “accusation, a calling into question, a disparagement.” It never becomes a “jury” issue under judiciary Article III of the Constitution, but a political exercise under legislative Article I of the Constitution. The impeachers or accusers are elected politicians with vested and deep-seated party allegiances and agendas, as are the senatorial triers in the upper house who review and decide the accusations. The accusations against the president are partisan in every sense of the word and will be resolved equally in partisan manner. It is the nature of the beast. In this context, the “impartial justice” chant aimed at the Senate is an idiotic mantra. The articles sent to the Senate readily reveal that the two amorphous charges of the accusers are not rooted anywhere in the Constitution. In the judiciary branch of government in a court we would declare that the “complaint fails to state a cause of action” and therefore must be summarily dismissed without jury trial. “Impartiality” is inherently foreclosed when party politicians design the game, play the game and decide the outcome. Politics and hatred aside, reason, logic and the prescriptions of the Constitution ordain that this president must be cleared — as he will be.

Paul Antinori, Tampa

The writer, former Hillsborough state attorney, has practiced trial law for 60 years throughout the nation.

State of Union is unsound

This is the time of year when the president, before a joint session of Congress, delivers the annual address on the administration’s view of the nation’s health. We can expect to hear the words nearly all presidents use, “The state of the union is sound.” Can that even be remotely true considering the assault on the Constitution by two of the three branches of government? President Donald Trump’s well-documented attacks on foundational law and the willingness by certain, if not all, Republican senators to ignore their constitutional oath as jurors in Trump’s impeachment trial is proof that the republic is in jeopardy of collapsing. The state of the union is anything but “sound.”

Jim Paladino, Tampa

Thankful for the efforts

Lifesaving nets slated for Skyway | Jan. 10

This rendering from the Florida Department of Transportation shows the eight foot tall steel netting that will be added to the Sunshine Skyway later this year to deter suicidal people from jumping from the iconic span. [Florida Department of Transportation]

As parents of one of the 12 souls who perished after jumping from the Sunshine Skyway bridge last year, we are grateful that steps are being taken to help other families avoid the pain we have endured since June 24, 2019. Thank you for shedding light on the rise in suicides in our country and the need for greater access to mental health services for all.

Sharon and Jack Carlisle, Waynesville, N.C.

Orange juice welcomed us

Cutting orange juice leaves a bad taste | Editorial, Jan. 11

Florida no longer provides free juice at welcome centers. [Tampa Tribune]

What a letdown to not enjoy the trademark of sunny Florida — your 4 ounces of juice. For the last 20 some years, our family has traveled to this unique state for most of our vacations and have always stopped to enjoy the refreshing and delicious and healthy drawing card. This should be re-evaluated so that all of us can enjoy the fruits of your/our state’s labor. We just moved here from Wisconsin.

Eloise Schwarz, Sun City Center

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