To the Editor:

Re “Court Rules State Control of U.S. Voting Has Limits” (front page, June 28):

Several high-profile cases were decided by the Supreme Court this month, but only one, Moore v. Harper, had the potential to affect the very lifeblood of our democracy — voting. This election law case considered, in part, a controversial constitutional theory known as the “independent state legislature” doctrine.

At issue was whether or not state legislatures had absolute power with no electoral oversight authority by state courts to regulate federal elections. With unchecked power, state legislators in key swing states could have rejected the voters’ slate of electors and appointed their handpicked substitutes.

The Supreme Court has an obligation to protect our democracy. By rejecting the dangerous independent state legislature theory, the court safeguarded state-level judiciaries, shielding the will of the voters in the process.

Jim Paladino
Tampa, Fla.

To the Editor:

In the 6-to-3 Supreme Court ruling Tuesday in Moore v. Harper, the fact that a supermajority including both Democratic and Republican appointees reaffirmed the American constitutional order is the latest example that the Republican-appointed justices are not in the hip pocket of Donald Trump and the extreme right of the Republican Party.

This should provide comfort for those who believe in the separation of powers as prescribed in our Constitution.

John A. Viteritti
Laurel, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Adam Liptak writes about the Supreme Court’s ruling that soundly dismissed the “independent state legislature” theory.

The article quotes Richard L. Hasen, a U.C.L.A. law professor and leading election law scholar, who said the ruling giving the Supreme Court the ultimate say in federal election disputes was “a bad, but not awful, result.”

It seems globally accepted that legal disputes, including election disputes, should be decided by courts, and that in federal democracies, the highest national courts are best suited to have the last word in federal election cases.

While it is common for politicians and lawyers worldwide to dismiss international best practices based on the uniqueness of their legal systems, in the U.S., too, only the Supreme Court can ensure consistency across all states and thus protect the integrity of federal elections.

Jurij Toplak
New York
The writer is a visiting professor at Fordham University School of Law.

To the Editor:

In your article the Supreme Court justices whose opinions pose a threat to voting rights and democracy are referred to as “conservative.” The justices’ positions are not “conservative,” if conservative refers to those who are committed to preserve traditional institutions, practices and values.

I would ask that The Times consider a better word to describe these justices, whose positions on legal issues are heavily influenced by considerations of preserving Republican rule, class structures and Christian ideological dominance.

Cindy Weinbaum
Atlanta

To the Editor:

Re “Reparations Should Be an End, Not a Beginning,” by John McWhorter (Opinion, June 26):

Providing support for those who have been hurt by past discrimination is an important step in alleviating the harm caused by America’s long history of racism.

However, including all who are economically disadvantaged in any initiatives, as Professor McWhorter suggests, will broaden support for affirmative action programs while assisting more people who need a hand up.

Ignoring this slice of the populace is what has led to simmering resentment in many communities and to the election of Donald Trump in 2016.

Rather than pitting groups against one another, we should strive to lift up the fallen, regardless of the origin of people’s suffering.

Edwin Andrews
Malden, Mass.

To the Editor:

Re “Property Taxes Could Be Cut in Half for Older New Jersey Homeowners” (news article, June 22):

As a suburban homeowner in Nassau County in New York, I find it reassuring to see neighboring New Jersey working hard to address the problem of high property taxes. It just approved a property tax reduction program for homeowners 65-plus called StayNJ, designed to offset some of the highest property taxes in the country.

The people of New York State must demand that their elected officials pass similar relief for their constituents, who also live in a state with high property taxes. We are still suffering from a $10,000 state and local taxes deduction cap on our federal income tax that was passed under former President Donald Trump.

Congressional Democrats promised to repeal this as one of their legislative priorities and have failed to keep their promise so far. So it is up to us to demand action from the New York State Legislature.

Philip A. Paoli Jr.
Seaford, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Re “13-Year-Olds in U.S. Record Lowest Test Scores in Decades” (news article, June 22):

The latest data is out on reading scores for 13-year-olds in the U.S., and it’s not good. Children’s reading levels are at their lowest in decades.

In your article, the commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics states, “This is a huge-scale challenge that faces the nation.”

Indeed, we see this challenge every day in the faces of children in our homes, schools and communities. We are responding by bolstering instruction, tutoring and summer learning, all of which offer reason to hope.

But what stood out to me most in this story was that fewer kids report reading for fun, with 31 percent saying they “never or hardly ever” read for fun, compared with 22 percent in 2012.

Could reigniting a love for reading and the joy of books be an answer we’re missing to this problem? Imagine every child with an abundant home library, cuddled up with a parent or under the covers reading a book, starting from birth.

At a time when our education system is struggling, and life is hard for so many children, let’s make reading fun again!

Mary Mathew
Durham, N.C.
The writer is director of advocacy for Book Harvest, which provides books and literacy support to children and families.

Extremism fueled by xenophobia and a deep sense of nationalism in a country that carried out the systematic murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust is foreboding and a grave threat to democracy.

With global antisemitism increasing at an alarming rate and Nazism experiencing an unsettling resurgence, the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany and the political gains that it has made are a proverbial red flag.

When extremism becomes normalized and gains a foothold in the mainstream political arena and people flagrantly fan the flames of fanaticism, we have a societal and moral obligation to sound the alarm.

N. Aaron Troodler
Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

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