New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.

New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. Credit: AP/Hans Pennink

Top judge's resignation raises questions

The resignation of New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore raises serious questions about the independence of the state judiciary ["State's top judge to quit," News, July 12]. DiFiore was recently the swing vote in a 4-3 decision declaring the state Legislature's unauthorized gerrymandering of the legislative map to be unconstitutional. This map would have likely ensured the success of the Democratic Party in 22 districts and the Republican Party in four districts. Meanwhile, a disciplinary hearing against the top labor leader of the court officers involved DiFiore, but the extent is unknown.

This resignation is unusual because she had 3 1/2 years left on her term. In Washington, we are seeing threats and harassment of Supreme Court justices who participate in decisions that are unpopular to various groups. Are we seeing the same thing in New York? The public is entitled to more information since this resignation likely will change the court’s leaning.

Lawrence Donohue, West Islip

A safety tip about protecting a cellphone

The clammer sinking into the mud was indeed fortunate to have been spotted by two "guardian angels" who alerted first responders to save him ["Firefighters rescue mud-stuck clammer," News, July 16]. The article, however, missed one essential safety tip. Always carry a fully charged cellphone in a heavy-duty, quart-sized, double-zipper sealed bag. Keep the bag on your person, in a zipped pocket on shorts or on a vest. Don't put it in a cooler or tackle box that could separate your phone away from you. And do not remove the phone from the bag or the bag from your person until you are safely back in your vehicle and on your way home. At times like this, it's a piece of emergency equipment, not a toy. You may need to use it to save a life.

Kathleen Ledford, Yaphank

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