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Dear Hank: While this is not meant to be a “Letter to the Editor,” it is, obviously, a letter, and you are certainly the editor. Therefore, you may treat it as you wish and publish it any time, any place, and anywhere that you may desire I did not intend to become involved in the Castille/Ledewitz/Pennsylvania Judiciary/Pennsylvania Senate controversy, but your column in the April 12 Legal Intelligencer, for whatever reason injected my name, thereby creating linkage. As Popeye often said, “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more!” In the fall of 1971, I was fortunate to be sworn in as an assistant district attorney to then-District Attorney Arlen Spector. Included in this class of future luminaries was Justice Ronald Castille. Castille graduated from the University of Virginia Law School (considered by many to be the nation’s finest law school) after having served with valor and distinction in Vietnam as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Castille was an outstanding prosecutor whose abilities were later recognized by the citizens of the city of Philadelphia when they twice elected him as their district attorney. He was then elected as a justice to our state Supreme Court. While a justice, he has worked tirelessly against gender and ethnic discrimination in the court system, chairing the Supreme Court’s Commission on Racial and Gender Bias since its inception. Throughout my 38-year-plus close association with Castille, I have known him to be one of the most honest, honorable and uncorruptible individuals whom I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. His reward for all of this is to be labeled a criminal (yes, Hank, judicial “corruption” is a crime) and to have this libel repeatedly published and further disseminated throughout most media outlets in the commonwealth. This damnable lie will be forever linked to his name in millions of future Google “hits.” Hank, I really think you missed the point! Ledewitz is a third-tier professor at a second-tier law school who has made his career by attacking the judiciary. He has achieved little academic distinction, other than through his negativity, and has become the designated hitman for any journalist who wishes to obtain a negative quote regarding the judiciary. Is it objective journalism when someone seeks a comment from an individual whom he knows lacks objectivity and will reply with a defamatory and inflammatory quote? Ledewitz is analogous to the monster in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. However, rather than having been created by Baron Von Frankenstein, his notoriety has been solely created by journalists in need of a negative quotation regarding any court or any sitting judge, regardless of the underlying facts. Of course, the professor has a right to his opinion; however, as a sage whose name I do not know once said: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; no one is entitled to their own facts.” Hank, I do not understand why we judges who have spent our entire careers defending the First Amendment rights of the American press are now being lambasted by that same press for exercising our First Amendment rights. Your colleagues have come to utilize Ledewitz like Hall of Fame Coach Red Auerbach used the notorious “Jungle Jim Loscutoff” – send him in, it won’t be pretty, but we need a hatchet man. Castille is not thin-skinned, nor am I. I would be very happy to have a dialogue with Ledewitz, Sen. Piccola, and yourself at any venue at any time. However, why do you insist that the professor has a right to accuse Castille, individually, and the Supreme Court, generally, of criminal conduct, due to the authorship of an opinion that affirmed a constitutional concept that has existed since Marbury v. Madison? Ledewitz’s comments are vile, borne of vituperation, and completely baseless, yet your column condones and defends this scurrilous behavior. However, the professor’s actions are not criminal, nor “corrupt.” It is not the professor’s morals that are defective, only his intellect. Further, I am also totally confounded by the collective comments of many of your colleagues that, somehow, experienced trial judges should receive lower salaries than first-year associates at Philadelphia law firms. As a former chairman of the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board, I will make the statement that any member of the bar who believes that a judge has engaged in “corrupt” activities is obligated to report it, not only to the Judicial Conduct Board, but also to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. Judge James Gardner Colins, Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

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