Having served as a sheriff and, prior to that, as a deputy sheriff for over 32 years, I know a little something about the office. First and foremost it’s overworked. Since Republicans in the General Assembly are seeking to force county sheriffs and their deputies to enforce federal immigration laws, I hope they will also empower ICE to do the sheriff’s’ job. The sheriffs could use the help.
Let’s let ICE staff the jails, secure the courts and transport mental patients, convicted felons and juvenile offenders. Let ICE serve civil process including writs of possession, claims and deliveries and civil executions. Let ICE collect the judgments, tax warrants, bond forfeitures and fines. Let ICE arrest those who fail to appear in court. Let ICE summon jurors and serve subpoenas. Let ICE agents serve those hundreds or thousands of warrants and writs of arrest that come into the sheriffs’ offices every month. And while they’re doing all this, those ICE agents can answer calls for service, investigate crimes, referee domestic squabbles, make arrests when they establish probable cause, conduct crime prevention programs, serve as resource officers in schools — and don’t forget patrol when they have time.
If they have time.
Frank McGuirt, Sheriff of Union County, Retired
I searched Edwin Yoder’s column looking for something of substance, but I was unsuccessful. He took two paragraphs to itemize Trump’s personal “liabilities.” So Yoder doesn’t like Trump’s style. So what? I’ll wager there are some elements of Yoder’s style that Trump wouldn’t like. Trump has a long list of accomplishments, with more to go. Conservatives and liberals can argue about whether they are good or bad, but they are there. Finally, I was amused by what Yoder described as a ‘freakish distribution of the electoral vote.’ Look at the electoral map. Trump lost the West Coast, New England and a few other states. That is not a freakish distribution — that is a solid pattern.
Shortest possible lines
As cited in the editorial “A Supreme Court cop-out on gerrymandering” (June 28): Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, writing the majority opinion in the 5-4 decision on gerrymandering, declares that partisan gerrymandering is “incompatible with democratic principles.” Yet he concludes the court in this case is powerless to protect those principles.
Who believes this was a principled non-partisan decision? No-one. Roberts was apparently embarrassed to give a full-throated endorsement to gerrymandering, unlike our Republican legislators, who are beyond embarrassment. There is a way to draw district lines without any political intent. And that is the mathematical formulation of the shortest lines possible within a state. This abandons the philosophical ideal of drawing maps to make as many competitive districts as possible — a hopelessly muddled formulation inevitably partisan and subject to endless debates. Instead, feed the location of state residents into a computer, and out comes the map — end of story. No fuss, no muss, no partisanship — and therefore the only realistic reform to our current anything-else-would-be-fairer undemocratic mess.
Stewards of the earth
Regarding Lt. Gov. Dan Forest’s Sermon at Cornerstone: I have been an active Evangelical Christian for many years. What rock has Forest been hiding under? He is just going to have to suck it up and realize that many of his constituents are Christians who speak English and Spanish. I used to do missionary work in Mexico and, starting in the late 1970’s, saw the environmental damage caused by corporate farms and factories owned by U.S. companies. We are called to be stewards of the earth, not polluters. The U.S. needs to lead the world and get out of the 19th century. We need to start by closing the coal mines, as Germany has done, and requiring solar panels on all new construction, as Israel has done. This is mainstream, not leftist or radical. It is Christian.
Protect our election
I read with amusement a letter today regarding gerrymandering (“Gerrymandering,” July 2). Evidently the writer didn’t understand the reality of voting in the last election. He stated that president Trump really lost by nearly three million votes, the GOP senate received 16 million fewer votes and that we have an illegitimate Supreme Court as a result. The purpose of the electoral college is to keep large population states from controlling elections for the rest of our country. President Trump won 2,623 counties in the election compared to just 489 for Hillary Clinton. What does that tell you?
Thank God our forefathers have the intelligence to create the electoral college to protect our election from letting a few states dictate the winners.