Letters to the Editor

State's laws ought not to be arbitrary

Concerning the April 12 editorial, "Arkansas' Supreme Court favors government over voters in voting law decision," it occurs to me that our state Legislature needs to pass laws for good reasons. One of your columnists has been writing a lot about using common sense lately, but it seems that when the actions of Republicans are done without common sense, that is not a problem.

The Legal Information Institute at Cornell University defines "arbitrary" and in its information says, "In a democracy, arbitrariness cannot be allowed." Arbitrary decisions are not supported by fair, solid and substantial cause.

In his decision, Judge Wendell Griffen said there was no fair, solid, substantial cause for having passed those [voting] laws. Judge Griffen is right in saying laws should not be passed based on nothing real. And the state Supreme Court decision, with no reasoning or evidence given, is even more harmful to our democracy.

For the 10 years I have lived in Arkansas, there have been a lot of laws passed by the Republican majority Legislature that have no evidence or rational reasoning to exist. I am quite sure that there is evidence and reasoning used by those leading the Republican Party here, but that would bring up another bone of contention I have with government in general: open meeting laws, the Freedom of Information Act and the exceptions that allow members of a particular political party to hold secret discussions concerning what is in legislation and the real reasoning for wanting it passed. The real reasoning, whether it is bordering on criminal, unconstitutional or just plain embarrassing, is kept away from the citizens knowing what it is.

It is pretty easy to guess in this case that passing new elections laws will just make it easier to suppress more legitimate votes for Democrats than for Republicans, which reduces the integrity of an election, while Republicans tell us publicly their laws are supposed to add integrity to elections. It is plain dishonesty happening right before our eyes.

Being (supposedly) a government of the people, by the people and for the people, common sense would tell us there should be no exceptions for any government body to make decisions and pass laws by any group, like a majority of a party's members in the legislature, without the citizens knowing all of the actual reasons for the decisions or laws. And that can easily be done by all government bodies doing all of their decision making at public meetings, and not in private meetings.

Edward Smith


Success, happiness not on the outside

Our society is wrong in saying to us that success, beauty and happiness are on the outside when just the opposite is true. But, of course, they can't market what's inside a heart, mind or soul unless we hand it over to them. And we ain't gotta do that unless we want to. Price gonna be high. And if you get that check, iffen it don't bounce, cash it, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, provide shelter for the least of us. This is the way of the Samurai.

Marianne Beasley


Upcoming Events