June 29 -- To the Editor:

With the Supreme Court decision (5-4) declaring political gerrymandering constitutional, it is now enshrined in law that a political party can pick their own voters, rather than voters picking them. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision has now revealed itself to be the ultimate example of this same political gerrymandering!

The Republicans in the U.S. Senate, led by majority leader Mitch McConnell, first eliminated former president Obama's pick of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court to replace the deceased Justice, Antonin Scalia, by refusing to even vet Garland in the traditional way. I still don't know how McConnell got away with that! Then the victor in the next presidential election, Donald Trump, himself the recipient of the advantage of Republican gerrymandered districting in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, won the electoral college (even though losing the popular vote by three million!).

This put him in the presidency! Trump then replaced Merrick Garland with Neil Gorsuch, and later, replaced the retiring Anthony Kennedy with Brett Kavanaugh, achieving a Supreme Court political balance favorable to the most conservative part of the Republican constituency. Now, this Republican-engineered court has delivered the ultimate coup-de-grace, allowing the same gerrymandering that put Trump in office and themselves in the majority, letting stand this same partisan gerrymandering as the law of the land, the public -be-damned, democracy undermined!

The checks and balances of our democracy have been decimated, with only the still recalcitrant House of Representatives standing between the American voter and dictatorship!

There is nothing in the constitution that says we have to have nine Supreme Court justices. In fact, initially, soon after the founding of our nation there were only five Supreme Court justices. If the Democrats take back the presidency AND the U.S. senate in 2020, I propose we increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court to eleven. With a Democratic president and U.S. senate, we can then regain the liberal majority on the court, six -to-five. Why not?

More realistically, I now believe that U.S. Supreme Court justices should be term-limited, perhaps to 18 years, instead of lifetime- appointed. If we truly regain the checks-and-balances our constitution established among the three branches of our government, the court would only have one third the power it's supposed to have. Currently, with a Republican president, a spineless Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, and a stymied House of Representatives, we have no true balance among the three branches. Should we regain this all-important balance, we need to pass a law which will allow a sitting president to be indicted, should the evidence lead us, the maligned and forgotten voter, to that conclusion.

Larry Etscovitz

Kittery, Maine