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To the Editor:

Behind the shock and outrage about the leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization draft decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade lurks the threshold question: Why are Supreme Court votes and processes so hidden in the first place? How did this grip on secrecy become so sacrosanct? And why is a leaked draft opinion an “affront” to the court, as Chief Justice John Roberts asserted?

Americans have a right to know — and should know — what goes on with the highest court, including the machinations behind critical opinions. The cloak of mystery shrouding the court is not a worthy attribute but a counterproductive clandestineness, almost medieval in tone. It is out of step with modern times.

Publicizing the court’s workings and drafts will not reverse its entrenched politicization. But it could educate us more fully about it. Today’s trend in government is toward more disclosure and openness — not less. This leak can serve as a teaching moment and a turning point for the court to open its operations.

Mimi Reimel
Langhorne, Pa.

To the Editor:

I believe that the Supreme Court leak investigation could benefit from an “I am Spartacus” moment in which people of conscience working at the court all claim to have leaked Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion.

Tom Moore
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Re “America Is Not Ready for the End of Roe v. Wade” (editorial, May 8):

The nine justices of the Supreme Court do indeed need to restrain themselves. But this hardly resolves the question raised by Roe v. Wade. Leaving in place a decision that forbids half the states from regulating abortion as they see fit is hardly the embodiment of judicial restraint. Yet, at the same time, overruling Roe would threaten the court’s legitimacy with roughly half the country.

How should these competing considerations be harmonized? The unmistakable answer is as unsatisfactory as it is simple: They can’t be.

William Cooper
Truckee, Calif.

To the Editor:

When pro-choice advocates criticize the apparent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade as an action of unelected officials, that is the height of both irony and absurdity. It is the height of irony because the very effect of the decision would be to return the abortion issue back to the voters in each state. It is the height of absurdity because every judicial opinion by a federal court is an action of unelected officials. So by that rationale, should we have no federal judiciary because they are all unelected?

Peter Meltzer
Wynnewood, Pa.

To the Editor:

Re “Why Republicans Are So Angry,” by Jamelle Bouie (column, May 8):

As Mr. Bouie states, the conservative majority on the current court is extremely political. Beyond that, however, they are also quite religious. It makes me wish that these two questions had been asked at their confirmation hearings:

First, would you please cite a case in which you decided in a way that was contrary to your own personal religious beliefs?

Second, would you please cite a Supreme Court decision that you believe was correctly decided despite the fact that it goes against your own personal religious beliefs?

Not being able to answer those two questions should be disqualifying. Or is the separation of church and state the one piece of originalism we’re supposed to ignore?

Ed Gross
Washingtonville, N.Y.

To the Editor:

In “Decision Striking Mask Mandate on Transit Underscores Deep Split in Attitudes” (news article, April 24), a young man asks, “Do I have to factor in everyone in the world around me when I make a decision?”

This overly dramatic question is a good example of the false dichotomy. Answers: No, not everybody. No, not every time. But, as a good citizen, be prepared to wear a mask when a situation obviously calls for it, such as close proximity to older people.

Also, be aware that even if you are vaccinated or have had Covid, reinfection is possible and mild Covid can cause long Covid.

In the long run, you really cannot separate looking out for yourself from looking out for others.

Francis X. Holt
Clinton, Mass.
The writer is a retired registered nurse.

To the Editor:

My Twitter Pullback Is About More Than Elon Musk,” by Charles M. Blow (column, May 2), offers the best and most concise definition of the negative, darker side of Twitter and its ilk: “Social media is full of hate speech, bots, vitriol, attack armies, screamers and people who live for the opportunity to be angry.”

No wonder I never signed up for any of it.

Others like me lament how such blatant and often violent acts of unkindness can be spread so instantaneously and globally. Old-fashioned gossip and the ruining of reputations have become mechanized to the degree that one click can now easily match a whole lifetime of gossip and telling lies.

Richard Orlando
Westmount, Quebec

To the Editor:

Re “Your Kids Can Handle Dangerous Ideas,” by Matt Gross (Opinion guest essay, April 30), which opens with an anecdote about skipping school:

In 1943, on a warm spring afternoon, my mother was swayed by my pleas to skip school the rest of the day. I was surprised but delighted. The next day I brought the teacher my excuse note, written in my mother’s best hand, which said I had suffered an attack of spring fever.

At 90, I still remember lying on the lawn, watching drifting clouds.

Margaret Mary Koykka Cowin
Cleveland Heights, Ohio



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