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opinion | Block a mandate, Supreme Court ‘sides on Covid-19’

opinion |  Block a mandate, Supreme Court 'sides on Covid-19'

To the editors:

Regarding “Judges reverse vaccination mandate from major employers(front page, January 14):

With the judges sheltering at home, the Supreme Court was closed to live arguments until last October. The court remains closed to the public, and lawyers arguing in court should be masked and provide evidence of a negative Covid test. Omicron is still ravaging America, and the military has been sent to help overburdened hospitals.

But on Thursday, the conservative Supreme Court majority scrapped the temporary vaccine mandate for large companies proposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and sided with Covid-19, guaranteeing the pandemic will continue into a third year of misery for Americans.

some states, like Florida, pass laws that prevent private companies from imposing mandates. The actions of Republican governors and politicians are breathtaking as they disrupt the ability of private companies to keep their employees safe.

To be clear: the legal opposition to the Supreme Court is not about the efficacy of vaccines or the peculiar nuances of administrative law. It is to support Republican efforts everywhere to politically harm President Biden at the cost of suffering and death for millions of Americans.

Shame, shame on the Supreme Court.

Jonathan D. Karmel
Chicago
The writer, a lawyer, represents unions and workers and is the author of “Dying to Work: Death and Injury in the American Workplace.”

To the editors:

It is clear that the Supreme Court has transformed itself into an integral part of the government’s legislature, quite independent of its historical and constitutional judicial function. The court, as evidenced by its ruling on vaccine mandates, has decided it is better suited to rule on workplace safety issues than the agency created by Congress to handle that question.

One possible reason for this is that Congress has proven itself fundamentally incapable of performing its own constitutional functions and has become paralyzed by partisanship. So we’ve reached the point where decisions that affect many millions of Americans are made by court officials who are ultimately accountable to no one.

Opinion Conversation
Questions about the Covid-19 vaccine and its rollout.

Peter Alkalay
Scarsdale, New York
The writer is a lawyer.

To the editors:

A virus has never had a better friend than the conservative majority of today’s Supreme Court.

Jim Webster
Shelter Island, New York
The writer, professor emeritus of medicine at Northwestern University, is a past president of the Chicago Board of Health.

To the editors:

Regarding “Biden’s Vote Push Crumbles As Sinema Rejects Filibuster Change(front page, January 14):

This week, a battered President Biden faced a series of setbacks: the Supreme Court ruling over vaccine mandates, inflation rates that won’t abate, and two unyielding Democrats who thwarted the voting rights bill on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr.’s compliance. Day.

These two Democrats – Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin – have paralyzed the president’s agenda. What remains are top priority bills held hostage by the refusal of the Arizona and West Virginia senators to cooperate.

Unlike Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had a super-majority of Democrats to work with, Mr. Biden is committed to these two senators and an archaic filibuster rule that still represents a major roadblock in his administration. History will remember the unyielding senators and not be nice.

John V. Amodeo
Mechanicville, New York
The writer is a former adjunct professor of American history and political science on the campus of Mercy College in Manhattan.

To the editors:

Given the frustrations of watching a dysfunctional Senate and filibuster rules standing in the way of passing proposed legislation, it’s easy to understand the pressure to change Senate rules and practices. But many of us also share the fear of how a simple, small majority in a divided country could influence future legislation with another majority.

Perhaps the following simple proposals for changing the rules of the Senate can gain bipartisan support and allay some of the fears and frustrations while allowing the Senate to function at least some of the time:

1. In any given calendar year, the Senate Majority Leader may propose no more than two votes on topics he or she elects in which a simple majority would determine the outcome. This would basically protect the filibuster while also providing flexibility to get some initiatives without filibuster approved.

2. Individual senators cannot use the privilege to “hold” nominations or votes. Each hold must be requested by at least three senators from three different states.

3. Presidential candidates are automatically approved if they are not voted on by the full Senate within 90 days.

Joel Magid
Scarsdale, New York

To the editors:

Regarding “We need a second version of ‘Don’t Look Up’by Ross Douthat (column, January 9):

While mr. Douthat’s revisionist version of “Don’t Look Up” has a lot of crazy twists, the original is way better than he seems to think.

Take the title first. The MAGA-esque rallies where Meryl Streep as Trumpist president has her base sing “Don’t look up!” pretending the comet isn’t real is exactly in line with the “Stop the Steal!” chants that Donald Trump leads at his rallies to pretend he didn’t lose. It would be great if Mr. Trump’s base had the epiphany that one of Ms. Streep’s followers has when he looks up at the comet now visible to the naked eye and yells, “They lied to us!”

The satire is at its best when it fits in with the propaganda that makes millions of Americans live in an alternate reality. So let’s not try a re-film where America burns and China prevails, as Mr. Douthat’s script would have done. Instead, let’s leave the ending of the original film and suggest that if we don’t look up to the real facts that are quickly assailing us about threats from Trumpists to our democracy, threats of climate change to our planet, and threats of social injustice to our planet, we will all go extinct. our society.

James Berkman
Boston

To the editors:

In this film, a comet is a thinly veiled allegory for climate change. My research When we examine how the public reacts to climate content, it turns out that there can be unintended effects from stories like this.

A film that portrays climate change as terrifying with few solutions may alter risk perception and somewhat increase the willingness to act, but in the face of fear, viewers often deny that the problem exists. In addition, viewers ask for specific cues on how to take action when confronted with a climate story. Unfortunately, “Don’t Look Up” offers little guidance.

I am not an armchair critic, but rather a filmmaker creating content about climate change. I understand the many challenges of telling a climate story in an engaging way. Still, my research shows that good climate stories can even bridge differences between Republicans and Democrats and motivate positive change.

As makers make more climate films, we need to both tell a good story and get the audience to act. There is too much at stake to do otherwise.

Sabrina McCormicka
Washington
The writer is an associate professor and founding director of the Climate Media Lab at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University.

To the editors:

Regarding “The urge for a smoke swirls back(Thursday Styles, January 13):

It’s so mind-boggling to see young people fall for the old cliché that smoking is somehow cool. In reality, this is exactly what the tobacco industry would have them believe. Smoking doesn’t make anyone “sexy,” but it sure does make them a sucker.

Steve Saint
San Francisco