Bucks County Herald

Charles Meredith:

Soccer and politics on world stage

Dear Friends,

Good morning. Before I get to the president’s choice to succeed Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court; Bucks County championing open space; and state Rep. Marguerite Quinn’s anger at the state Legislature, here’s a take on the World Cup.

In soccer, there’s just not enough scoring. In the second round of the games in Russia, look at the scores: France beat Argentina 4 to 3; Uruguay beat Portugal 2 to 1; Russia won 4 to 3 over Spain via penalty kicks after a 1 to 1 tie during regulation and overtime periods; Croatia beat Denmark after penalty kicks settled the match 3-2; Brazil beat Mexico 2-0; Sweden beat Switzerland 1-0; Belgium beat Japan 3-2; and England beat Colombia after surviving a tie in regulation and overtime periods.

I watched the Russia v. Spain and Denmark v. Croatia matches. Each game took two hours to play and they were settled by shoot outs. My eyes glazed over. I don’t understand why soccer is the world’s favorite sport.

But here’s a suggestion. If the sport increased the height and width of the goal area by several feet, there’d be increased excitement because of more scoring. What do you think, soccer fans?

And now to business.

State Rep. Marguerite Quinn was right when she criticized her fellow lawmakers for failing to vote on her bill requiring convicted domestic violence abusers to turn over their guns within 24 hours of conviction. Her bill (House Bill 2060) would remedy the situation but the Legislature is now in recess. We’ll have to wait until the fall to see whether her bill will see the light of day and get a vote.

“I was very disappointed that the bill got submarined at the last minute,” Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub complained. “There’s a strong link between gun violence and domestic violence. Last year in Pennsylvania, 117 people were killed in domestic violence crimes.” Stay tuned.

On another subject, there’s good news on the home front. Last week, the Bucks County Commissioners voted 3-0 to spend $980,000 to preserve 180 acres of farm and parkland. The county has preserved 211 farms totaling 16,798 acres. Bravo!

Protecting open space is a bargain. Animals and farmland require no new schools to be built nor water and sewer lines installed. That’s precisely why the Upper Perkioman School District and the municipalities within its borders erred serval years ago. They had the chance to purchase the golf course near Pennsburg and protect its open space.

Alas, They didn’t and hundreds of homes with water and sewer lines now occupy the land … forever.

Finally.

A few nights ago, President Trump said he would announce his choice to succeed Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy who will retire at the end of this month. Assuming that the U. S. Senate will confirm the president’s pick, the court will swing further to the right.

During Justice Kennedy’s tenure, there were 51 decisions where Kennedy joined the liberal minority. He embraced liberal views on gay rights, abortion, and the death penalty. However, Kennedy voted with conservatives to trim voting rights, block gun control measures, and unleashed campaign spending by corporations.

Each year, the court hears about 80 cases out of more than 7,000 requests. Most will not get a review. My bet is that the court will change several previous liberal decisions. At some point, abortion and gay rights cases will bubble up.

For example, will the court overturn the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973? Conservatives have wanted to reverse Roe v. Wade for 45 years.

To get the local reaction to the Supreme Court and abortion cases, I called my friend Father Fred Riegler, the pastor of St. Isidore’s Catholic Church in Quakertown.

He suggested Sandy Slater to give the Pro Life point of view. For the Pro Choice position, I’ll talk with Melissa Reed who is president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Bucks County.

Sincerely, Charles Meredith




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