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Readers sound off on the confirmation of SCOTUS justice

President Donald Trump and Amy Coney Barrett stand

President Donald Trump and Amy Coney Barrett stand on the White House balcony after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the Constitutional Oath to her on Monday. Credit: AP/Patrick Semansky

Under a cloak of darkness, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett has been sworn in to sit on the bench. It serves little purpose, at this point, to discuss how she will impact future opinions handed down from the court. This will be the shining beacon that illuminates the hypocrisy that has dominated the U.S. Senate and its current leadership. The legacy of this justice, as distinguished as she might be, will be forever noted with an asterisk.

James P. Kelly,


Editor’s note: The writer is an adjunct professor of political science at St. Joseph’s College, Patchogue.

I was taken aback by your editorial "Court’s legitimacy in the balance" [Oct. 18]. I was not aware that each new Supreme Court justice must hold the same philosophical and judicial tenets as his or her predecessor, as your piece implies. I was also not aware that an "unbalanced" court was incapable of rendering legitimate and credible opinions. So I did some research. It turns out that the court that decided Roe v. Wade, a 7-2 decision, had six justices appointed by Republican (conservative) presidents. Richard Nixon, alone, appointed four. Three of those four voted with the majority. Using your standards for "legitimacy," I’m wondering whether the board would find the Supreme Court that decided the most-often-cited case in every election year since 1973 as "legitimate."

Robert Nevitt,


Congratulations to Justice Amy Coney Barrett for landing what I consider the best no-show job ever created. She can phone in her "decisions." Affordable Care Act? Dead. Roe v. Wade? Dead. Gun control? Dead. Environmental regulations? Gone. She’s done quite well after graduating from the law school at Notre Dame. This is the best we can do?

Chris Marzuk,


The choosing of a Supreme Court justice has many steps. First, there is the nomination, then interviews and hearings and finally the confirmation and appointment of the justice. Many were upset that President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett so soon after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and close to the election. Yet, each part of the process was fulfilled. It seems to me that people were against her confirmation because they presumed she would vote a certain way on key cases based on her religion and values despite impeccable qualifications and a stellar background. I don’t remember so much consternation when the Supreme Court was top-heavy with liberal justices who voted their beliefs, changing the moral code our country was founded on and adhered to since its inception. Freedom of speech and religion are two cherished foundations, yet it seems to me in this 21st century that is not true for everyone, only for those with a politically prescribed view. During the hearings, Barrett said she would apply the law as the Constitution dictates, not based on personal beliefs. Can we please be open and fair-minded to give justice a chance?

Rosanna Walther,


New York speeds up climate projects

I agree with reader Jeffrey Fass, who writes of President Donald Trump’s climate denialism the terrible harm it is doing and his pushing onto states climate leadership ["We need to address climate change," Letters, Oct. 8]. Fortunately, in New York, I believe Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proved himself to be a climate leader, and now he’s speeding the process in which large-scale renewable energy projects can come to fruition. We need large-scale renewable plants, like wind and solar farms, to replace the burning of fossil fuels, and it can be done without endangering our power reliability, while bringing jobs and investment to the state. The new Office of Renewable Energy Siting overhauls and streamlines the siting process, reducing a five-to-10-year slog to one year. To me, quickly building up our renewable energy capacity is necessary to meet New York’s climate goals and rebuild our economy.

Jenna Inglese,

Stony Brook

Climate change indeed is melting the Arctic’s ice to its second-lowest level since 1979 ["Arctic Ocean ice near lowest level," Health and Science, Sept. 23]. Scientists’ observations of the Arctic, and the ramifying effects of a warmer "north" with wildfires, heat waves and fierce storms, provide ample evidence that climate change is not coming. It is here. I believe we must respond urgently by turning away from burning fossil fuels to siting and building large-scale renewable energy plants. For that purpose, New York State has an Office of Renewable Energy Siting to get shovels into the ground and renewable energy plants operating without delay. It’s up to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to ensure that the siting office gets up to speed quickly and efficiently. Solar and wind plants are on the drawing boards. Let’s get them working.

Joanne Moore,

Long Beach

Criminal justice reforms fall short

Radical politicians, to me, see the pandemic as hurting our local businesses as just an opportunity to push an unpopular agenda that exacerbates problems weighing on Long Islanders’ minds. Between calls from far left politicians to defund the police and what I see as the liberals’ cowardice to stand up to rioters, I feel safer voting for Republican candidates who I believe have the courage to publicly defend law enforcement in this hostile environment. Calls to defund the police not only threaten job security for police officers but also make working in law enforcement even more dangerous. To me, this agenda threatens public safety, our businesses and our way of life. The anti-police hostility is not welcomed by me or my neighbors, and it’s time we make that known in the voting booth in November. It’s bad for New York, and it’s bad for Long Island. Let’s tell those in charge that we do not approve of their so-called reforms.

Diane Lewis,


So a cop killer is to be paroled after he and two others ambushed two city police officers. Those two officers are no longer with us while Anthony Bottom has been a guest of the state. Those officers have not seen their children grow up, graduate, get married or become parents, but yet the killers can resume life. Why? Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo changes the law and makes parole easier. Why? To me, it’s because the parole board doesn’t look at one’s crime, only what they’ve done in prison. What else can he do but study, go to church and get the best the state has to offer on the taxpayers’ dime? Both officers’ families have had to suffer their losses. It seems this administration cares more about criminals’ rights and inmates instead of taxpayers and their families. Cops are getting arrested or fired, and criminals are being released early, or not being held (no bail), then, after release, they’re allowed to vote. Please look at this injustice and put an end to it Nov. 3.

Larry Lombardo,


Editor’s note: The writer is a retired NYC Transit police sergeant.