Reader Responses, August 17, 2014

Published on Saturday, 16 August 2014 21:22 - Written by

FEDERAL JUDGE IN TYLER GAVE RIGHTS TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

A majority of immigration problems began in 1968 when President Lyndon Johnson appointed Judge William Wayne Justice to the federal bench. In the Plyler v. Doe case, which originated in Tyler, Justice ruled that undocumented children and young adults have the same rights to attend public schools in Texas as U.S. citizens. Appeals led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling that extended the rights nationwide.

Justice Department attorney John Roberts (now chief justice) disagreed with his superiors on the proper legal course to take on major social issues of the day. He advocated a more conservative tack. In 1982 Roberts faulted the justice department for the outcome in the Plyler v. Doe case in which the Supreme Court overturned a Texas Law that allowed school districts to deny enrollment to children who had entered the country illegally. Roberts argued that if the solicitor general had taken a position in the case backing Texas “and the values of judicial restraint,” it could have “altered the outcome of the case.”

The Plyler v. Doe ruling extended citizenship benefits to all resident aliens. The ramifications of this ruling are beyond comprehension.

Gene Turman

Elgin

 

CLIMATE CHANGING

I was really glad to see the letter by Timothy W. O’Neal in the paper on Aug. 10. What he states about global warming is factual — not statements made by energy companies and the politicians receiving payments from them. The climate is warming. There is a lot of controversy about why. But there is a very high probability that excessive carbon dioxide is causing it. But I guess we can bury our heads in the sand and pretend it is not harming our environment.

Harvey Collen

Tyler

 

DOWNSIZING

The current administration has decided to adopt a one-war strategy. With the reduction of our military forces we would be lucky to fight a half-war.

So here we go again to reduce our Army like we did after World Wars I and II. When World War II began in Europe, in September 1939, the strength of our regular Army was 187,993. The National Guard on the same date totaled 199,401. Of the total, 50,002 of the regular Army were dispersed in overseas possessions.

The remaining 137,891 officers and enlisted men in the United States were scattered in 130 posts, mostly of battalion size units. At that time the equipment of the Regular Army and the National Guard were World War I vintage.

With Russia, China and Iran building up their forces, we may find ourselves being the 98-pound weakling with bullies kicking sand in our face.

John C. Cole

Flint

 

NULLIFICATION

As one who is concerned about the growing power of our federal government, my interest was piqued by a report from an organization called the Tenth Amendment Center. The report entitled “The State of the Nullification Movement 2014” documents how a small but growing number of states are acting to effectively nullify — i.e., make of no value or consequence — federal policies they dislike. Some examples include gun rights and the Affordable Care Act.

While the merits of some efforts may be debatable, I like the idea of states pushing back against the federal government’s expanding power.

My first thought was this movement likely represents a reaction to President Obama’s lawlessness. If Obama can choose which laws to enforce and which to ignore, why shouldn’t the states do the same?

In reality, however, the concept of nullification traces back to our nation’s founding. James Madison wrote about it in Federalist No. 46, and Thomas Jefferson alluded to it in the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. The concept works because the federal government needs state cooperation to effectively implement many of its programs, and the Supreme Court has historically held that states can’t be compelled to expend their resources to help the federal government implement its acts.

Once again I find myself in awe of the foresight of our nation’s founders.

Cliff Hickman

Henderson