Free press trumps blind faith

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said he's amazed at media "hostility" to President Trump ("Chaput: Media lacking faith," Tuesday) and that the media should "support the president whether we accept everything he stands for or not and wish him success . . . ."

Is Chaput amazed that the media reports about:

Trump's plans to build the Mexican wall, which the American people would pay for?

The ban of immigrants from seven countries, even though they have been vetted, and no terrorists from those countries have attacked us?

Trump's failure to release his income-tax returns, which could reveal any conflicts of interest?

Trump's promotion of his daughter's clothing line?

Chief strategist Steve Bannon being put on the National Security Council?

Chaput needs to be reminded that democracy is not a religion, and blind faith is not how a democracy operates. I thank God for the free press.

|Eileen Borenstein, Oreland, esb7@comcast.net

Garland deserved GOP's backing

Former Sen. Rick Santorum wrote in his commentary regarding Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, "The surest proof that someone is 'outside the mainstream' is blind hostility to the nomination of this highly respected jurist. That may be the Washington way, but in this state we expect more backbone of our elected Democrats" ("Gorsuch worthy of Dems' backing," Wednesday).

I have two words in response: Merrick Garland.

Where was Santorum's voice calling for backbone when this eminently qualified and respected jurist was put forth by President Barack Obama? In this state, we do demand more from our senators, which is why we are so deeply disappointed with Sen. Pat Toomey. Santorum sounds like just another politician blindly supporting party over the people.

|Rachel Ezekiel-Fishbein, Elkins Park

Examine Gorsuch's record

Former Sen. Rick Santorum cited a 2006 voice-vote confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch in supporting his nomination to the Supreme Court. But at the time, Gorsuch had no record as a judge, and that vote has no bearing now. The Supreme Court is different, and Gorsuch has a decade-long record to scrutinize. His impressive academic qualifications are independent of his extremist record, and his ability to be an independent check on a reckless administration is in question.

Santorum failed to mention that members of his Republican Party have supported individuals for lower positions and ultimately opposed them for the Supreme Court. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch supported Elena Kagan's nomination as solicitor general, yet opposed her nomination to the Supreme Court. Because of Gorsuch's extreme record, and because a consensus nominee would bring the country together in contentious times, Democrats should do the same with him.

|Kadida Kenner, campaign manager, Why Courts Matter - Pennsylvania, Harrisburg

Protect public schools

Despite a huge outcry, Betsy DeVos is our education secretary. The Council for the Advancement of Public Schools will now focus on ensuring that she makes quality public schools available to all students, not offer more choice.

Educators will work with her to improve public schools, but we will not stand idly by if she tries to shut them down. Our country can't afford a repeat of her record in Michigan, where she has worked for decades to privatize public education, including using public funds for private-school tuition through vouchers and similar programs. She has been "a force behind the spread of charter schools . . . most of which have recorded student test scores in reading and math below the state average," according to a Washington Post story.

Shifting resources from and closing public schools is a disservice to the community. Citizens have access to their public schools' budgets and financial records; they should be wary of any shift of funding into the darkness, where there is no accountability for spending or opportunity to review where their tax dollars are going.

We are engaged in what's going on in Washington and ask for your support. Join us to make a difference for today's and tomorrow's generations.

|Linda J. Weaver, representative, Council for the Advancement of Public Schools, Philadelphia, lindajeanweaver@gmail.com

Booker's DeVos vote disappoints

In the past, I felt that Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) was the best Democrat in the U.S. Senate. I no longer do. I was very disappointed to see his vote against Betsy DeVos, the leading supporter of school choice, for the position of secretary of education.

When Booker was the mayor of Newark, he often touted his successful efforts to bring in more charter schools to improve the education system. As a result, the improvement in the education of the city's youth was significant.

He also served on DeVos' board of directors for a nonprofit organization that promoted school choice.

His vote against her nomination was quite a turnaround and an unpleasant surprise. It seems he has placed something above the education of our children - his personal ambition.

|Arthur Horn, East Windsor