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The Readers’ Forum

The Readers' Forum: Tuesday letters

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Support its passage

We can all be proud that a North Carolina congresswoman, our own Kathy Manning (NC-6), introduced H.R. 8373, the bill to protect the access to and use of contraception (“Roll Call,” July 24).

It passed the House on its obvious merits in one week, with 145 co-sponsors. I urge your readers to read it, and then to write to our senators and urge them to add their support to its passage in the Senate.

How encouraging it would be if North Carolina were to lead the nation back to more rational and less cruel treatment of women, to policies that respect women rather than demean them and reduce their rights.

Kathy Manning has taken an important step to protect the health care of women as well as the reputation of our state.

Katherine McGinnis


Substantive due process

The concurring opinion of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in the Dobbs case has been waved around like a bloody shirt by those wanting to energize their political base. But contrary to the propaganda, Thomas’ critique does not relate to the pros/cons of contraception, gay marriage, miscegenation (in which he participates) or any particular issue.

Rather, Thomas’ critique relates to specific legal reasoning (“substantive due process”) which he considers flawed. For example, the right of businesses to be free from state regulation had been established in the Lochner case, using the concept of substantive due process. Lochner was eventually overturned by progressive jurists who — like Thomas — dismissed the concept of substantive due process.

Thomas believes that other constitutional bases could exist for expansive rights to privacy/liberty, but the reasoning of substantive due process should be jettisoned (as it was in the Lochner override). From his concurring opinion: “For example, we could consider whether any of the rights announced in this Court’s substantive due process cases are ‘privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States’ protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Perhaps it is too much to ask partisans to deploy nuance and discernment in assessing Justice Thomas. That would undermine their political goals.

Robert Watson


A nonstory

The Journal’s coverage of the beauty supply store incident (“Store faces backlash over confrontation,” July 29) was grossly out of proportion. A shooting gets a few paragraphs in local briefs. The beauty supply store event got the front page on July 29, and half a page on July 31 (“Group protests at beauty supply store”) reporting the protest.

John Hinton did a thorough reporting job, and after reading, there is no evidence of discrimination against the shopper. All that was required of the shopper was that she pay for the items she wanted. If a crime was committed, it was the shopper assaulting two employees.

This was a non-story, blown up to seem big. This excessive coverage does a disservice to real acts of racial discrimination that warrant reporting. The purpose of devoting so much coverage leaves me guessing the Journal’s intent.

John Wooding


Thanking Biden

Many people expressed their outrage over high gas prices with hostile accusations that President Biden was responsible for the increase.

Evidently their economic/political ignorance has been replaced with the knowledge that gas prices are determined by the world market, not the American president. That would explain why they have not thanked Biden for the recent price decrease.

Gary Meeks



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The writer of the Aug. 1 letter “Substantive due process,” claiming that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas doesn’t really have it out for same-sex marriage and contraception, reminds me of the conservatives who said they only wanted to return the issue of abortion to the states.

What we pay at the pump affects not only the high costs we incur to go to work and travel, but also has a rippling effect through our economy in raising the costs of producing and transporting the things that we buy at the local supermarket and other stores.

Justice Thomas, in his concurring opinion in the Dobbs decision removing the right to abortion, suggested that the decisions allowing gay marriage and contraception should be revisited by the court (presumably to be overturned).

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