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'Reagan's Legacy'

October 11, 1985

Thank you for the timely and thoughtful editorial comments (Oct. 6), "Reagan's Legacy," concerning this Administration's "ideological screening" of potential federal judicial nominees. Your editorial exposes a grave danger to the delicate balance of the co-equal and mutually independent three branches of government.

That presidents and governors in victory win the right to appoint judges of their own political philosophies is generally accepted. Judges who value their reputations for upholding the Constitution and for fairness are acutely aware of this fact.

However, the current Administration's practices exceed what should be tolerated in the appointive process. In a democracy, the judiciary should not become the arm of the executive branch.

JOAN DEMPSEY KLEIN

Los Angeles

Klein is presiding justice of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division 3.

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