Roundup: Editorial opinions from other papers

Farmington Daily Times
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FAA takes good steps on pilot mental health

The possibility that the pilot at the controls in an airline cockpit has mental health problems that are not being addressed is pretty unnerving. So, it’s a step in the right direction for the Federal Aviation Administration to urge pilots struggling to maintain mental health to get treatment.

Unfortunately, though, the FAA does not intend to initiate psychological testing for pilots, who already undergo annual medical examinations through age 40, when they then must get physical exams twice a year.

The German airline pilot who crashed his plane into the French Alps in March 2015 had severe mental health problems. Authorities have come to the grim conclusion that he purposely crashed the plane — killing some 150 people aboard.

But the FAA says it does intend to improve training for aviation medical examiners to be better able to spot mental illness. That’s a positive step, as is the announced goal of a collaborative effort between airlines and pilot unions to expand mental health assistance programs for pilots who have received a diagnosis.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 23


Court immigration ruling gives Obama a loss, US a win

We have long supported comprehensive immigration reform and lamented the inability of Congress — whether it was controlled by Republicans or Democrats — to approve forward-thinking legislation. But this editorial board has also long opposed the use of executive power in ways that usurp the authority of Congress. The president is not the king.

That’s why we welcome the fact that a 4-4 Supreme Court split has left in place an appellate court ruling blocking President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive order on immigration enforcement that effectively rewrote federal laws affecting millions of people who reside in the U.S. without legal status.

Obama, who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, used to agree with our view. As a senator, he railed against George W. Bush’s executive excesses. And for years after he became president, he acknowledged limits on his authority — including specifically on immigration. In a 2013 online chat, he was asked why his administration didn’t do more to stop deportations from breaking up families. “The problem is, is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States,” he replied. “My job is to execute laws that are passed.”

A year later, he changed his mind on this issue. But a simple thought exercise shows why the principled position of having a president who honors constitutional checks and balances is also the smart position. Imagine if the high court had ruled in Obama’s favor and established the precedent of a president being able to set immigration policy — and then Donald Trump got elected. We doubt many Democratic lawmakers would then want a president with imperial powers.

​The San Diego Union-Tribune, June 24