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To the Editor:

The original Constitution, written by white men, did not provide for the right to vote for women or Black people, or the right to marry across race or gender lines, or the right to obtain and use contraception, or a child’s right to go to equal schools.

Justice Samuel Alito’s argument that there is no right to an abortion written in the Constitution is spurious. As if the authors would even have considered such a thing in 1787.

Elizabeth Faiella
Winter Park, Fla.

To the Editor:

While Justice Samuel Alito insists that Roe was egregiously wrong from the start because abortion is not a right delineated in the Constitution, remember that the number of women participating at the Constitutional Convention was zero.

David Senner
Edina, Minn.

To the Editor:

In 2006, Amy Coney Barrett signed an anti-abortion newspaper ad calling for “an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade.” Having shown clear bias, Justice Barrett should have disqualified herself from hearing the Mississippi abortion case pending before the Supreme Court.

Although Supreme Court justices are not legally bound by the Code of Conduct, it does apply to all other federal judges.

Supreme Court justices should at least attempt to comply with the spirit of the code, which provides that “a judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

How could any rational person not believe that Justice Barrett’s impartiality is reasonably in question in the abortion case?

Lewis Maldonado
Berkeley, Calif.

To the Editor:

Several of the Supreme Court justices who apparently are in favor of striking down Roe v. Wade are Roman Catholic. As a former Roman Catholic myself, I am very much aware that the Catholic Church considers abortion under virtually any circumstances a mortal sin.

I live in a country that espouses freedom of religion but also separation of church and state. Ignoring all other motivations of the justices in question, it would certainly appear that their religious beliefs may have an overwhelming impact on their decision in this case. That, in turn, would mean that members of a religious minority in this country are about to determine what rights the majority of the country may enjoy.

I think it is an outrageous usurpation of Americans’ civil rights by a religion.

Robert Paul Dean
Atlanta

To the Editor:

Has anyone else noticed that the photograph of the current justices of the Supreme Court that you published features a portrait of Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the 1857 Dred Scott decision?

Harbinger of things to come?

Marc N. Sperber
New York

To the Editor:

Does your paper have an Irony Desk? If so here’s a possible headline for you:

“Irked by Leak in Abortion Case, Roberts Insists Court Has Privacy Right.”

Jeff Balch
Evanston, Ill.

To the Editor:

Re “America Has Turned Its Back on Its Poorest Families,” by Ezra Klein (column, April 20):

The child tax credit, discussed in the column, would not only reduce child poverty, but would also have a profound effect on one of the most intractable problems our nation struggles to solve: addiction.

Addiction prevention is so much more than lectures in school classrooms about the effects of drugs. Child poverty is an underlying cause of adverse childhood experiences, which have long-lasting effects on mental health, well-being and the risk for substance use.

Poverty can physically alter a child’s brain structure, resulting in observable socioeconomic disparities in critical neurocognitive functioning, affecting learning and memory, attention, language, emotional stability, executive functioning and self-regulation.

In some cases, these effects can be observed even before a child’s first birthday. We have the means to invest in this critical early determinant of health by reducing child poverty and securing families’ income, food and housing stability.

While a child tax credit might seem far removed from addressing the devastating drug epidemic that has been ravaging our nation for decades, it is in fact a profoundly important element of the addiction prevention toolbox.

Linda Richter
Scarsdale, N.Y.
The writer is vice president, prevention research and analysis, at Partnership to End Addiction.

To the Editor:

Re “Olmsted’s Enduring Gift” (special section, April 26):

Our nation owes immense gratitude to the visionary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. But we must remember that his gifts endure only if we take care of them — something we haven’t always done.

New York watched the decline of Central Park and Prospect Park and then rebirth under pioneers like Elizabeth Barlow Rogers and Tupper Thomas. We have learned that parks need investment, care and community to thrive.

We know, too, that there is still more to do to live up to Olmsted’s democratic ideals. He believed that parks should benefit all people. Yet today, studies show that equal access to parks is still unrealized, especially in communities of color, where far too many lack thriving parks or parks close to home.

Let’s use this bicentennial of Olmsted’s birth to recommit our communities and our nation to a robust era of park-making for all people. That is the greatest thanks we could give Olmsted, and it would be a profound investment in our future.

Anne Neal Petri
Washington
The writer is president of the National Association for Olmsted Parks, managing partner of Olmsted 200.



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