Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, masks and Native American tribes
Jackson’s abilities beyond reproach
A reader was unsure of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s qualifications for the Supreme Court because of her "scant time on the federal appeals court" ["Merit should be the high court qualifier," Letters, March 2].
Brown has more judicial experience than Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett did when they were nominated. This is in addition to her being a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School with extensive courtroom experience.
Countless people are qualified for the Supreme Court. Some happen to be Black women.
— Richard Moore, Sayville
After 232 years of our nation choosing able candidates for justices of the Supreme Court on the facts of race (white) and gender (male), a reader spoke out against this very thing: considerations of race and gender in choosing Supreme Court nominees.
It’s notable that it is this case — the nomination of a woman of color — that triggers indignation. It’s implied that no pool of non-white women could possibly contain any who are equally able. That is false.
— Helen Hill Updike, Greenlawn
Parents given wrong message on masks
Watching the State of the Union address, I was shocked, confused and disappointed to see that it was a mostly maskless affair "Mandate lifted: Masks off at schools on LI," News, March 3].
As the mother of a 2-year-old, I felt forgotten and left behind. The message I received from our president, before he even spoke a word, was that the country has moved on. I have only known parenthood through the lens of COVID-19.
I have spent my daughter’s whole life trying to protect her from this disease, having made countless sacrifices by limiting our outings and socializing.
As mask restrictions loosen, our leaders are not only saying they’re willing to sacrifice the health of our children. Just as hurtful, they’re sending a message to parents whose kids are too young to be vaccinated, that we’re yet again on our own to circumvent life in a pandemic society that’s left us abandoned.
— Ellen Wirchin, Huntington
I am not ready to take my mask off. The population of Nassau plus Suffolk is about 2.8 million and about 22% of us have not been vaccinated. That leaves about 616,000 folks mingling in public venues who can more easily be infected and spread the virus.
New York State has moved too quickly to remove the mandates. The positivity rate has decreased significantly because of the mandates and the push to get everyone vaccinated.
Let’s not spoil it by being too hasty.
— Norman Cohen, South Farmingdale
Interior head gives hope to LI tribes
The article "Interior head in ‘historic’ meet with LI tribes" [News, Feb. 26] is significant because the Bureau of Indian Affairs is a federal agency within the Department of the Interior. The department is responsible for implementing federal laws and policies related to American Indians and Alaska natives. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe of New Mexico.
It takes years for Indian tribes to work through "the system" to address issues and bring about positive changes. Often, this has been the experience of Long Island tribes. Hopefully, Haaland’s leadership will assist Indian tribes with their issues, but in particular, Long Island’s Poospatuck-Unkechaug band to secure federal recognition, the Montaukett to secure recognition by New York State, and the Shinnecock, to continue progress with their projects.
— Chet Lukaszewski, Huntington
The writer taught American Indian studies in high school for 27 years.
‘Unhealthy people’ are not contagious
In responding to the news article "Searching for a misinformation antidote" [News, Feb. 22], a reader repeated a common argument in stating, "People not caring for themselves have been around long before COVID-19" ["Unhealthy people put prior burdens on us," Letters, Feb. 25]. It is quite true that our health care system is impacted by those who abuse drugs, drink alcohol in excess, are morbidly obese, etc. But what the reader fails to note, is that all these actions are confined to the individual alone and are not highly contagious. COVID-19 is contagious.
It is not misinformation that this virus spreads rampantly and that nearly 1 million people in this country have died from it. Getting the vaccine not only protects me from serious illness, but it protects those I come in contact with. I can’t imagine where we would have been if there had been this much objection to the polio or smallpox vaccines.
— Barbara Dreyfus, East Setauket