News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


GOP proposal disregards constitutional principles


For 200 years confirmation of federal judicial nominees has required broad support from both parties in the Senate. Now Sen. Bill Frist proposes changing the rules to eliminate the filibuster option and preclude even discussion of the handful of Bush judicial appointees who were not approved last year. Soon-to-be presidential candidate Frist (who never even bothered to vote before 1988) is willing to use this "nuclear option" even though Senate Democrats have voted with Republicans to confirm more than 200 Bush appointees to the federal bench and used the filibuster on only 10 Bush nominees.

There is nothing conservative about changing a rule that has served our nation well and prevented tyranny by the majority for 200 years. The "nuclear option" would eliminate the Senate rule that allows the minority party to stop confirmation of the most extreme judicial nominees so that, for the first time in American history, there would be no check on the majority party's ability to confirm federal judges and Supreme Court justices to lifetime positions.

Destruction of the filibuster rule and the checks and balances it provides shows a flagrant disrespect for the Constitution and indicates that some radical, far-right Republicans in Washington think that any means — no matter how destructive to our democratic principles — should be employed to ram through their radical agenda. I hope Sens. Shelby and Sessions have more respect for the Constitution and the institution of the Senate than Sen. Frist has and will vote against the "nuclear option."

Sherry T. Walker

Hazel Green

Radical judges would ensure domination by rich


Is this what we want? Destruction of public education, the rape of the working class and poor, a $130 billion tax cut for the ultra rich, health care so expensive only the rich can afford it? If the Senate uses the nuclear option and puts radical judges on Supreme Court, then the whole government will be controlled by the corporations and ultra rich, and there will be no need for elections. They will just rig them like the last two.

James P. Hollis


Our country's imperfect past, uncertain future


I thoroughly enjoyed the article, "Guess who might be coming to hear public prayer" by James L. Evans.

Many Americans don't understand the uniqueness and value of our democracy. Did our democracy begin in 1776 or with King John in 1215? Forgetting our history prior to 1776, how democratic was our country in 1776? Weren't Catholics required to pay a tax for not attending Anglican Church service in Virginia?

In spite of the imperfections of our history, the belief of a loving God guiding the establishment and foundation of our country is as important today as in 1603 or 1941.

The question is whether we will divide ourselves into 13 or more different sects of different beliefs or unbeliefs to frustrate our future.

Benyamin Abrams

Carthage, Mo.

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