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'Bird Battles Ignorant Mob'

July 22, 1986

Kahrl's snide and sneering attempt to paint Chief Justice Bird as a "Joan of Arc" martyr is just about the meanest, low-down, insulting piece of trash that has yet been printed in the campaign against Bird and three other liberal justices up for election this November.

Kahrl apparently is doing a cutesy-pie, cheap imitation of George Will in a feeble and totally failing effort to build a case for his stupid proposition that the Bird election is all over and only her defeat will justify her place in history.

Not a single case, not a single quote, not a single fact did Kahrl cite to justify his idiotic and subtly anti-feminist sneer-piece against Bird.

And if that's not enough, Kahrl is incredibly naive.

He would have us believe that the upswelling of hatred against Bird is nothing more than the natural and predestined flow of public opinion, untouched by the $5 million in lies, distortions and vicious propaganda that has flowed from the various right-wing committees set up by Gov. George Deukmejian and his Republican conservative friends in the Legislature to "get" Bird and Justices Joseph Grodin, Cruz Reynoso and Stanley Mosk.

Come on, Kahrl, you know better. You're not just a smart-ass Sacramento "commentator." You've been around Sacramento and the Deukmejian crowd of Moral Majoritarians who want to hand over to the governor four new Supreme Court appointments.

You think this is just Sacramento "fun and games"? And that Rose Bird is acting out a martyr complex?

From the day Bird was appointed nine years ago she has been the object of attack, vilification and distortion of her record and opinions.

The Republican right wing vowed to "get" her in the 1978 election and very nearly succeeded. Outraged by their defeat, these self-appointed censors and guardians of our morals immediately launched a new campaign against Bird. The attacks have never ceased.

Is it any wonder that after nine years of unprecedented and virtually undefended distortions and attempted smears that public opinion has gradually swung against Bird? It would be a miracle if it were not otherwise.

But Kahrl may have been premature in predicting Bird's demise. A new independent Citizens Committee of Keep Politics Out of the Court, headed by former Gov. Edmund G. (Pat) Brown and former U.S. Secretary of Education Shirley Hufstedler, now a Los Angeles lawyer, has been formed to set the record straight on Bird and other members of the court who have been targeted for defeat by the Republican right wing.

It's not over yet, Kahrl.

LU HAAS

Pacific Palisades

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