On the meaning of ‘originalism’
To the Editor:
Re Robert Scott’s column “What happened to civic responsibility?” (Jan. 28-Feb. 3): Here’s what Supreme Court Justice Amy Comey Barrett actually said at her confirmation when asked to explain originalism in interpreting the Constitution: “I interpret the Constitution as a law and I interpret its text as text, and I understand it to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it. So, that meaning doesn’t change over time, and it’s not up to me to update it or infuse my own policy views into it.”
Despite Scott’s assertions to the contrary, this can only mean that the justice accepts all of the Constitution, including the amendment process. When Scott’s longtime Navy friend asked him which Constitution he believed in, Scott should have asked what he meant, as almost all of us know of only one Constitution, including its Amendments and the words in it that define the process by which those Amendments came to be. For Scott to brainstorm his friend’s mysterious multiple Constitutions into the proposition that Barrett believes in half a Constitution is ludicrous.
Clearly, Barrett endorsed the amendment process in the original Constitution as the proper way to effect policy change.
Rather than wring his hands, perhaps Scott can write another column telling us what, during his tenure as president of Adelphi University, he did to close the civic responsibility gap he bemoans in the students he had four years to bring up to speed, and how that differs from what other universities do.
Dennis J. Duffy, Lynbrook
Support Hawxhurst, Ryder this March
To the Editor:
I proudly support the Lynbrook New Vision Party candidacies of Mike Hawxhurst and Laura Ryder for village trustees.
I have the great fortune to call each of them my close friend. During these challenging times, they are each uniquely qualified to lead our community in the coming years.
I first met Hawxhurst, the current deputy mayor, when he stepped up to volunteer to help coach the St. Raymond’s CYO swim team some years ago. I quickly learned that he frequently answered the call to help out. His willingness to give his time to the community is matched by the leadership, judgment and competency that he has provided in recent years on the village board.
My wife Elaine and I first met Ryder in a professional capacity. Her skill and patience were invaluable as we navigated a new business. It was not long before we were inspired by her strong commitment to our community and found ourselves delivering groceries to neighbors and restocking local pantries. Ryder quietly works with the Lynbrook Community Chest to raise funds to assist Lynbrook residents in need. Responding to increased need, she helped found the Lynbrook Cares organization.
Recently, Hawxhurst and Ryder both helped to raise money to assist homeless veterans in Nassau County.
Lynbrook has a long and strong tradition of civic unity and service. This is a strength that continues to serve our community and residents well, particularly during recent difficult times. Hawxhurst and Ledwith have been at the forefront of these efforts for as long as I have known them.
Lynbrook is the best village on Long Island. The New Vision Party has done a superb job. Hawxhurst and Ryder represent the very best opportunity to continue and enhance our strong tradition of civic unity and service.
Please vote for Mike Hawxhurst and Laura Ryder for Lynbrook village trustees this March.
Jim Hunter, Lynbrook