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Rose Bird's Interview

December 02, 1985

Chief Justice Bird was quoted as saying she would not "turn tail and run" from the "bully boys" of the U.S. attorney general and the right wing whom she apparently blames for all her political misfortunes. She indicated that she should be reelected because she is honest, competent, hard working, and doing her "best to do a good job," and those are the standards by which she feels she should be judged.

The great majority of voters who will, I strongly believe, vote the chief justice out of office next year are not at all the "progeny" of Atty. Gen. Meese. Nor are they anti-feminist. The majority of people who will vote against Bird next year quite simply believe that deserving reelection requires more than doing the best job you can.

More important, she is perceived as not understanding that to be even a mediocre chief justice of the Supreme Court involves much more than trying one's "best to do a good job." It suggests a respect not only by society, but for society as well. And this respect for society is best measured, it seems to me, by the sense of fairness and consistency one uses to ensure the just application of the law.

I would suggest that the chief justice is perceived as having inadequate appreciation of this standard by many more individuals than the "bullies" she alludes to. And it is these individuals whose respect and votes she does not have.

NORMAN SCHULMAN

Los Angeles

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