Opinion

10/6 Letters: Here’s why McConnell won’t let an impeachment trial take place in the Senate

A Senate trial?

If the U.S. House approves articles of impeachment and refers them to the Senate for trial, it is doubtful that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would allow a trial to take place — regardless of any Senate rule.

With a slim 53-47 majority, and McConnell and 20-odd GOP senators up for re-election in 2020, would he risk losing control of the Senate by marching his colleagues into a political death valley? Rather, he will find some way to avoid a trial, lest he lose his post because Republican senators would have to vote up or down on Trump’s guilt — in an election year — and run the risk of losing the whole ball game.

William E. Jackson Jr., Davidson

Half truths and lies

If your lawyer tells you half truths or lies, do you keep them?

If your investment advisor tells you half truths or lies, do you keep them?

If your elected official tells you half truths or lies, do you keep them?

A growing number of Americans are tired of half truths, lies, and elected officials putting their party, donors, or themselves ahead of their country, state, city or county.

Elected officials take an oath of office. Now is the time for them to live up to their oath and protect the check and balances our founding fathers set up for us. Each person has the power of choice and their voice to let their elected officials know we will not accept anything less.

Gary Heisey, Hendersonville

College athletes

Regarding “California says college athletes can earn money off name. Will NC, other states follow?” (Oct. 1):

It’s probably inevitable that college athletes will be able to make money from their popularity. Obviously this will lead to gross inequities between stars and those players in lesser supporting roles, for example the QB vs. the defensive tackle.

One way to provide some equity is to offset the value of the scholarship by the amount of the player’s income. This offset should include both the academic costs and the other compensation, such as stipends and family travel benefits.

Jim Lehner, Cary

Protect pedestrians

Being a pedestrian, especially one with limited mobility, is becoming harder and more dangerous in downtown Raleigh.

The multiple high-rise projects, especially on Hillsborough Street near downtown and NCSU, are closing off surrounding sidewalks by placing barriers and fences, expecting folks to follow the detour signs and find another way around.

The City of Raleigh should require the construction companies to build a temporary, long-term, protected pedestrian walkways around these job sites. It is safer for everyone.

Ann Whitehurst, Raleigh

Fishing regulations

It’s outrageous! State fisheries regulators make it a crime for a recreational fisherman to catch even one Southern Flounder, but they allow the commercial fishermen – the netters, giggers, trawlers, and guides to catch and sell them.

Our regulators have always been like that. They have over the years failed to properly regulate, allowed over-harvest, and when the flounder population is depleted, they solve their self-created problem by denying ordinary citizens even one fish.

I’ve fished about 85 of my 91 years around Wrightsville Beach, served in our legislature and on the Marine Fisheries Commission. I’m very aware of the pitiful state of all of our marine resources and the reasons why.

George Clark, Wrightsville Beach

Academic freedom

The ACLU of North Carolina Board of Directors is deeply disturbed by the U.S. Department of Education’s recent threat to withdraw funding from Duke-UNC’s joint Middle East Studies program.

This threat has no basis in law or fact. The program is plainly compliant with applicable federal law.

The administration’s goal instead appears to be to insert the government into academic institutions and threaten those who fail to spread anti-Muslim ideology. Although the government may attach certain conditions to federal funding, never before have universities been subjected to this kind of ideological micromanagement.

The ACLU feels strongly that academic freedom is a bedrock principle of higher education and a cornerstone of the First Amendment. Efforts by the government to mandate what schools teach their students are a direct rebuke to that freedom, and the administration’s assumption of such authority threatens core constitutional principles protecting freedom of speech and religion.

The ACLU will fight this dangerous precedent every step of the way.

Anne Gordon, Durham

Senior lecturing fellow, Duke School of Law

New normal temps

Meteorologists have been comparing our recent extreme high temperatures to record highs and past normals.

What they too often fail to mention is that these high temperatures are the new normal. If you don’t believe that, you are probably not be feeling the full extent of heat due to your head being buried in the sand.

Robert Grove, Raleigh

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