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Opinion | Politics and the Supreme Court

David G. Bonagura Jr.
Floral Park, N.Y.
The writer is the author of “Steadfast in Faith: Catholicism and the Challenges of Secularism.”

To the Editor:

It’s a race. Will the reactionary, partisan hacks who care nothing for the vital traditions and legal foundations of our legal enterprise, and who don’t give a hoot about processes and precedent, and who comprise a majority of the court, finish the job of obliterating our trust and faith in the institution before the majority of us address the decision that they have forced upon us — namely, whether or not to reduce the present court’s influence?

I agree with Linda Greenhouse, who writes that we do not deserve this court majority that thinks so little of the well-being of our system of democracy, and so much of themselves.

Ms. Greenhouse is a national treasure, and I will miss her regular columns.

Robert Orndorff

To the Editor:

Re “Chief Justice Notes Scandals but Pleads for Judicial Independence” (front page, Jan. 1):

Chief Justice John Roberts’s concern about judicial independence is a classic case of too little too late. While he is concerned about legislative restraints on the court, he fails to address why the idea of those restraints has gained in popularity — namely, the public’s concern over the increasingly partisan findings by the court’s 6-3 conservative/right-wing majority.

Had Chief Justice Roberts voiced his concern when it mattered, he might have been able to nip the problem before it reached what some would call a crisis.

He could have shown some courage and spoken out when President Barack Obama was denied the opportunity to name Merrick Garland to the court. Mitch McConnell wouldn’t even allow Mr. Garland the chance to appear before the Senate in an obvious and successful attempt to manipulate the makeup of the court.

Had Chief Justice Roberts, who has a job for life, stood up for judicial independence then, he might have rallied some senators to the side of reason. Will he speak out if Mr. McConnell stalls again, waiting for a Republican majority, should another seat open up?

I don’t think so. His cries ring more than a little hollow.

Michael Pilla
Tenafly, N.J.

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