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Responses to the ABA president Other than, perhaps, a few lawyers who style themselves as radical revolutionaries, I can’t imagine any of your readers would disagree with Robert J. Grey Jr.’s objections to threats against judges and the judiciary ["Stop the verbal assaults," NLJ, April 25]. It might, therefore, have been more useful for Mr. Grey to attempt to address the reasons that our courts attract such intemperate criticism. For example, some aspects of our legal system are simply corrupt, as exemplified by the asbestos litigation. Many courts are bent on rewarding victims of their own stupidity, reaching decisions that invert common sense, interfering with the operation of social institutions or intervening far too deeply in interpersonal relationships. The judges are urged on by “entrepreneurial” lawyers who view the legal system as a venue for (their own) private enterprise rather than a branch of government. Oppressive administration of law breeds contempt for the law and its administrators. At some point, lawyers ought to seriously evaluate whether our legal system benefits our society as much as it does themselves. David C. Fischer New York Mr. Grey decries the “ever worsening atmosphere in which our courts operate,” noting that “we are faced with confusion and misinformation among the public about the proper role of the courts.” I disagree. Mr. Grey never identifies the sources of the “confusion and misinformation,” nor does he describe it. Let me be bold: Is not the worsening “atmosphere” surrounding our judiciary a product of the unbridled arrogance shown by activist judges? Why have publicly elected legislators enacted laws after lengthy debate that judges simply void or circumvent, thereby giving preference to their personal political or philosophical beliefs? These are elites who show total disrespect for the public by substituting their subjective views for those of our elected representatives. Anger and frustration generated by such arrogance manifests itself in verbal assaults on a judiciary the public no longer respects. Judicial disdain for legislative enactments is most odious when a jurist’s consideration of the consequences is dispositive; outcome trumps the law, the facts, legislative intent, separation of powers or any other doctrine or rule that dictates a contrary result. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who voted for the execution of juveniles in 1989, wrote this year in Roper v. Simmons that he found “international opinion” supported his new rule against the execution of murderers 17 and younger. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, trying to justify reliance on “international and foreign courts in examining domestic issues” during recent remarks at the National Constitution Center, opined “how the world really is growing together.” Both jurists revealed an alarming propensity for resorting to any ephemeral or suspect sources as authority to support their subjective beliefs. Judges who act like politicians should not be surprised when they are treated like politicians. Philip Howes Canton, Ohio On the nuclear option Two comments in reference to the editorial, “No nuclear winter” [NLJ, May 2]: First, there is no historical precedent for exercising the filibuster privilege on the scale presently being practiced by the Senate minority. To imply that this is business as usual, as does your piece, does a disservice to the reader. Second, it is ironic that the editors would question the judgment of Justice Janice Brown for her reference to the religious “war” (allegory anyone?) being fought in our country. This is a classic case of shooting the messenger. This cultural “battle” was joined long before Justice Brown made her comment. Is the subject so subversive that judicial candidates dare not speak of it? That is certainly the message conveyed by your comment. Moreover, I do not recall similar reservations being expressed by you about inflammatory comments recently in the news made by a sitting federal appeals court judge, suggesting that your position on judicial “judgment” is simply a function of whether or not you happen to agree with the speaker’s point of view. Russell Falconer New York

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