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Spurious SCOTUS


Spurious SCOTUS

So fears have come to pass. After the Citizens United court comes the anti-equality court, rejection of DOMA not withstanding. Married partners of every stripe still may have hurdle after hurdle to voting thrown up in their faces. The whole post-racism thing was started by folks who knew it was a smokescreen. Disingenuous, as any Southerner knows. Disingenuous in the majority opinion about the Voting Rights Act, in which they claim no need for such remedies any longer. Don't they know that the explicitly expressed "Southern strategy" of the Republicans is still in force?

Now this court limits community rights to regulate development. As Justice Kagan explains in her dissent, "the decision will very likely encourage local government officials to avoid any discussion with developers related to permit conditions that, in the end, might have let both sides find common ground on building projects that are good for the community and environmentally sound. Rather than risk a lawsuit through an attempt at compromise, many municipalities will simply reject development applications outright — or, worse, accept development plans they shouldn't."

A friend of mine posted on Facebook that SCOTUS doesn't work for you and me. Hard to see how he is wrong, or a conspiracy freak. Was the DOMA decision an effort to cravenly divert attention from these decisions? An examination of the celebration of Marriage Rights on Facebook would indicate a coincidence if not a conscious effort. Once again, we see the benefit to Republicans from the George W. Bush court appointees. My code to submit this letter online was very close to "specious," but the majority opinions might be better classified as spurious.

Jay Sims

Little Rock

Memories of the Voting Rights Act

In July 1965 I went to the World's Fair in New York City. It was my first real trip outside Arkansas — I was 15.

My sister drove and we made intermediate stops in Williamsburg, Va., and Washington and met our parents in Washington.

My father shared a friendship with then-Congressman Oren Harris. At that time you had to physically appear before the Supreme Court of the United States in order to be admitted to practice there. It was a very moving experience for someone who even at that age already wanted to be a lawyer.

What was even more moving for someone who was totally infatuated with politics was that we obtained congressional passes and were present in the House Chamber when the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed. It was certainly a time of high drama and there were huge numbers of spectators who wanted to be present. Unless you had a particular pass, which we did, you were only permitted to stay 15 minutes so that you could say you were present when history was made.

I doubt that anyone in Washington or possibly the country would have anticipated that the heirs of the Warren Court would 47 years later, during the second term of the first African-American president, strike down one of the essential elements of that legislation. I have fortunately lived long enough to see part of that vision come true — an African-American president. I have unfortunately lived long enough to see the legislation that was a significant part of the progression that enabled this country to elect its first African-American president be gutted.

Don A. Eilbott

Little Rock

Library board should pass over Clinton

Unfortunately, my schedule would not permit me to attend last week's Central Arkansas Library System board meeting.

It saddens me that the board decided not to reconsider naming the new Children's Library after someone other than former U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Our city and state have become so polarized on political matters and figures that we have overlooked what really matters: investing in people and developing our cities and state with a "one for all and all for one" motto.

There have been, and are, so many outstanding Arkansans and natives of Little Rock who have invested in the health and growth of our children, our people as a whole, and our state. And, they have done so without recognition or need for it.

It was my hope that the board would hear the voices in the community who offered names of other trailblazers and leaders in our community who are not only natives of Little Rock and/or Arkansas, but offer our children of today hope that their lives will have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of the people in their city and state. I was hoping that rather than "business as usual," the Central Arkansas Library System Board would see the need to promote the name of a not so well known trailblazer from Little Rock who has charted paths and changed lives in ways that should be recognized and honored.

Not sure if the signs have already gone to print or not, but if not, there is still time to re-think yesterday's decision and restore hope to Little Rock and Arkansas that we will start making decisions for our city and stare that reflect that we are bigger than political parties and figures, we are richer than the wealthiest in Arkansas, and we are visionaries who are wiser than those who make unwise decisions and continue to see things through tunnel vision, because we are humble enough to say we have erred and willing to correct our mistakes.

Hoping this letter helps the board see that we can be the change we want to see in this world by reversing its decision.

Anika Whitfield

Little Rock

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