It has been settled constitutional doctrine since Marbury vs. Madison (1803) that the U.S. Supreme Court and the various state supreme courts may declare a properly enacted law unconstitutional and negate the law's effect.

This makes sense: Transient and impassioned "democratic" majorities often pass laws that violate the constitutional principles upon which the republic was founded. Hence the need for independent courts. One problem: corrupt politicians try to "pack" the courts with their henchmen. — Gerald Cavanaugh, Ashland

With sadness I learned of the 25 percent reduction in funds for the SMART program and the elimination of all paid co-ordinator positions. As a volunteer, I have seen first-hand this truly remarkable program.

As a new volunteer eight years ago I was told, "from kindergarten through third grade, we learn to read; from then on, we read to learn." Dropout rates are astounding for those who have not grasped reading skills early. In this age of computers, reading is essential to use the Internet.

This one-on-one program for K-third grade gives students the gift of reading and the love of books that will stay with them life-long. The look of accomplishment in a child's eyes when they read a book "all by themselves" is priceless!

The volunteers I know will continue to give time and energy to keep this program in Southern Oregon. Volunteering and donating to Start Making A Reader Today is easy — just call 734-5628. Do it today — it's for the readers/leaders of tomorrow. — Colleen McDonald, Medford

A recent article in the Tribune rated Medford's water the best tasting in the Northwest.

Knowing this, why do local residents waste thousands of dollars annually on bottled and jug water? — Murrey A. Dumas, Medford

I have a question. Why is it that not all members of our community are allowed the privilege of full recycle bins?

It is great that our community is so concerned with fixing our environment and keeping our landfills from being clogged up with things we can recycle. I am in 100 percent agreement with this plan.

However, others and myself who have chosen to live in mobile parks do not have this privilege of being able to take advantage of the full recycle bins. Yes, we have recycle baskets, but they are so limited as to what we are allowed to put in them.

So I am having to throw into our landfills a multitude of things that could be recycled because I have a large family. Why aren't we allowed the same privilege? — Mary Fodge, Medford

Regarding Mr. Moran's letter in the Sunday MT which concluded that it is "fitting to see Hillary swinging from a tree":

Although it is sadly true that people exist whose hatred of candidates from the opposition party permits them to express satisfaction at the thought of the death of those candidates, I am dismayed that the Mail Tribune would print such letters. It seems clear that they cross a line of civil decency, and that such violent views should be given no more audience than that of an unfortunate family member at a breakfast table. — Leslie Morgan, Medford

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