Neil Gorsuch has earned his Senate confirmation of a stolen Supreme Court seat? No. He's earned a Senate rejection.
The March 29 editorial endorsing his confirmation made no mention of U.S. Sen. Al Franken's damning exchange with Gorsuch over the judge's absurd siding with a trucking company firing a driver who made the shocking decision to not freeze to death. Have the members of the Star Tribune Editorial Board not watched the video of that exchange? Gorsuch just sat there, never trying to defend his indefensible decision. This, and his Hobby Lobby decision, show he is clearly a corporate stooge and a GOP hack.
The worst part of the editorial concerns the implication that we should honor Trump voters' desire for an Antonin Scalia-like replacement justice. Donald Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes! If anything, using your logic, the replacement justice for the stolen seat should be philosophically the same as, or to the left of, Merrick Garland.
Speaking of votes, if any Supreme Court nominee can't get at least 60 votes in the Senate, that lack of popular support for a nominee should cause any president to withdraw that nominee from consideration.
Now I will write a letter to our Minnesota senators, asking them to treat Gorsuch with the same respect the GOP showed Merrick Garland: none. Therefore, filibuster him.
Gerald Hopkins, Roseville
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Democrats in the Senate should follow the McConnell rule and delay Gorsuch's confirmation until the oral arguments for this session of the Supreme Court are over. It may not be true payback on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's refusal to even consider Garland's nomination, but it does make a statement that the action was wrong.
Douglas Stene, Lakeville
ISLAM AND EDUCATION
Muslims fit into our society, as simple observation shows
A March 28 letter writer responding to a legislative proposal to allow Minnesota students to take one-third of classes at religious schools claims that American Muslims live segregated lives because of the Qur'an, Islam's sacred book.
This claim is disproved through simple observation, when we look around us to see that Muslims of all backgrounds and ages do indeed take part in the everyday life of the Twin Cities and around the state.
Muslims work in many occupations, careers and the professions. Muslims are educators, students and administrators. Muslims provide health care as doctors, nurses and medical assistants, and as staff at nursing homes.
Muslims are active throughout the business world, as employees and as the owners and operators of a tremendous range of businesses, themselves employing thousands of people. Muslims also support local businesses as customers at grocery stores, local retailers, shopping malls and gas stations, as purchasers of a variety of services, and as restaurant patrons.
Muslims work and take part in the fields of arts, culture, recreation and sports. Muslims also volunteer for a wide range of community organizations and services, and are members of many hobby-based clubs.
As citizens, American Muslims pay their taxes, vote, take part in elections as election judges, work in government, and serve in the U.S. armed forces. U.S. Congress member Keith Ellison is a Muslim.
The Star Tribune's own news coverage regularly includes stories about the diversity of Minnesota Muslim life.
It is clear that Muslims are not segregated, and that the Qur'an does not prevent Muslims from assimilating into the mainstream of American life.
Nahid Khan, Brooklyn Center
NEW PRAGUE SCHOOL PLAY
Nothing 'excessive' in sensitivity that led to cancellation
I have to disagree with the March 29 letter "Excessive sensitivity tries to spare us from history," which expressed disapproval of the cancellation of a school play in New Prague because of objections to the costumes that were to be worn.
Comparing "artistic expression" and history is like comparing apples and oranges. The appearance of young people dressed in Ku Klux Klan garb as part of a stage drama is indeed a display of artistic expression. However, it is not something that, in itself, advances the cause of racial justice and human decency. To do that, one must study factual history about what the Ku Klux Klan was/is, so that one better understands the evils that have occurred and the evil that the KKK represents. Cherry picking a few lines, a few words or costumes from a drama are not the way to understand the dark side and underbelly of history. To do that, one must open a history book, read it carefully, then personally act in a way that will "advance the cause of racial injustice and human decency."
George Larson, Brooklyn Park
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I was going to write a letter similar to the one published March 29 but changed my mind.
If the Ku Klux Klan costumes were important or necessary for the play, I would agree with the letter writer and be disheartened about the call to cancel the play. However, "The Foreigner" is a comedy, and the scene with the KKK costumes may be seen as insensitive and making light of that time in our history. In this case, I think the play's directors should have found another way to play the scene.
Becky Carpenter, Minneapolis
Taxpayer support unneeded
In his March 25 column, John Rash wrote: "PBS is a value. … CPB [the Corporation for Public Broadcasting] supporters focus on a fiscal figure — $1.35 per U.S. citizen, per year — to fund CPB." I would point out that this is $400-million-plus per year in taxpayer dollars, and the issue is not "value," it is "need." PBS is now a very rich media company, with huge private support, a very viable business model and an endowment exceeding $100 million. I suggest it is actually a successful experiment that now only needs its continuing nonprofit status to sustain itself. This taxpayer would prefer to see the $400 million per year applied to some other worthy unmet need. It is past time to celebrate PBS' "independence" and give taxpayers a "thank you" (from PBS) for the years of support provided.
Dennis Sellke, Minnetonka
DAY-BRIGHTENERS IN MAILBOXES
Good intentions, but …
The young man who took first place in the United Way essay contest (Variety, March 27) may not have known it, but he broke the law by putting jokes in neighbors' mailboxes. Fliers, advertisements and other items that are placed in or on a mailbox without paid postage or by someone who is not a postal employee are considered illegal.