So Scott Pruitt has resigned (“EPA chief resigns amid cloud of ethics scandals,” July 6). Although most of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet members have clearly been chosen for their willingness to destroy the agencies they head, Pruitt was the most notably corrupt. I am not so naive as to believe that he had sufficient shame to resign following the blistering public criticism by a teacher at a Washington, D.C., restaurant Monday night. Still, there is hope that Sarah Huckabee Sanders still retains some dormant Christian loyalty to the truth and that she might resign as well. Or that Kirstjen Nielsen becomes ashamed about the department she heads being so involved at kidnapping children at the border. Who knows — there is even hope that Republican U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski might abandon a party so clearly at odds with their gender.
All these must listen to that small voice of conscience and abandon Trump and his ilk. The only leaders I urge to remain are our generals. If they resign as well, the last restraint on our erratic leader is gone, and we are truly in mortal danger.
Charles Underwood, Minneapolis
U.S. SUPREME COURT
Nominate a justice with a degree from ‘greater America’
It has become an unspoken requirement for a Supreme Court justice to have a law degree from Harvard or Yale. President Donald Trump brought the subject out into the open by saying he would like to select a candidate with those credentials, then picked a shortlist with candidates who earned degrees in Michigan and Indiana.
I believe we need diversity in the educational background of Supreme Court justices. I may not agree with the legal perspectives of some candidates, but I think choosing a justice who was educated in “greater America” would be good for the Supreme Court.
Steven DeGeest, Andover
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The Supreme Court: 5-4, next case; 5-4, next case; 5-4, next case; 5-4, next case; 5-4, next case …
Murray Smart, Beardsley, Minn.
Editor’s note: True of many prominent rulings, although the Washington Post reports (tinyurl.com/sc-rulings) that since 2000, “a unanimous decision has been more likely than any other result — averaging 36 percent of all decisions. … The 5-to-4 decisions, by comparison, occurred in 19 percent of cases.”
A negligent killing but a 10-day sentence: Surely this can’t stand
Are we as a society becoming numb to the outrageous things in the news these days, things to which there are few if any consequences? Yet another example was in Thursday’s Minnesota section (“10-day jail term for driver who ran stop sign, killed motorist,” July 5). This driver was clearly in the wrong, resulting in a death. The sentence was 10 days in jail. Does anyone except me feel the moral outrage? Or has that disappeared with other forms of civility?
Ellen Siewert, Isanti, Minn.
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A few weeks ago, I submitted a letter expressing my family’s revulsion at what we believed were ridiculously lenient sentences meted out to two motorists whose alcohol- and drug-induced conditions resulted in the deaths of two drivers on our state highways. Now we have the ultimate insult. A woman sped through a stop sign and killed 75-year-old John Ploetz in his vehicle. The prosecuting attorneys and judge were faced with this woman’s horrific road record of eight citations for speeding, two citations for driving with a suspended license, two citations for driving with expired tabs and one citation for failing to stop at a stop sign. In his infinite wisdom, the presiding judge sentenced this woman to 10 days in detention for a 90-day sentence.
Consider the awful reality of that sentence. You ignore road signs, plow into an innocent driver and kill him, and you have to spend a grand total of 10 days in confinement, with three squares, television and internet, and gym privileges. Either we start to recognize the life-or-death consequences of drunk/distracted drivers, or we continue to add insult to injury for the victims and their survivors. We are better than this.
Mark H. Reed, Plymouth
MINNEAPOLIS ID CARDS
The utter awfulness of this idea cannot be overstated
What an absolutely ridiculous idea! (“Council weighs ID cards for all,” July 4.) Currently, anyone can apply and receive, if so qualified, an “identification card” through the Motor Vehicles Services Division (i.e., driver’s license division). Or, a person can apply for a U.S. passport and receive it if so properly qualified. Why would anyone suggest creating another “card,” thus spending nonexistent funds to create something that already exists and may not be a legal “identification card”? The Minneapolis City Council has neither the expertise nor the funding nor the staff to properly “vet” the applicants and set up another database. Nor is there a valid requirement nor the necessity to do so other than perhaps the pressures from the social media to give credibility to persons who are here illegally. It would not carry any legal definition of an identity card as required by the state of Minnesota or the federal government. In fact, it would try to circumvent the requirements of an “identity” as required by law. It would not specify if the person is a citizen of the U.S. or if the person is a legal resident of the country, nor validate the information on the card — date of birth, place of birth and residence. A very bad idea!
Andy Pakalns, St. Paul
MODERN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Game only on Facebook means: Angry-face icon
Hey, Major League Baseball: Your decision to show the July 3 Minnesota Twins-Milwaukee Brewers game exclusively on Facebook was confounding (“To catch Twins game, fans must tune in to Facebook”). Your fans aren’t the Gen X and Gen Z age group — the main Facebook users. We are your fans, the baby boomers. And, guess what, most of us think Facebook is intrusive and a time-suck. I would think you would want to satisfy and keep as many fans as possible. This is not the way to build your fan base.
Ann Hersman, Excelsior
About the 60,000 counterfeit mermaid dolls seized at the border in International Falls (StarTribune.com, July 6):
In a way, aren’t all mermaids counterfeit?
Chris Steller, Minneapolis