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'Tale of Two Justices'

August 23, 1986

Even if I agreed with you that Rehnquist should be confirmed and Bird retained, I would have to take issue with the reason for your advocacy.

You suggest "an approach to the judiciary . . . which is conservative . . . which does not upset custom and tradition." Would any of the social and political reforms of which our country is so proud ever have arisen from such an approach? Where would women and minorities be today if they shared your attitude? What advice would you have given Rosa Parks on that bus in Montgomery, Ala.?

Americans have never demonstrated a penchant toward maintaining the status quo. Indeed, if we have any tradition at all, it is a tradition of not abiding by what is customary and traditional--a tradition of making waves when they need to be made.

Rehnquist's confirmation should not come about simply because the Senate is accustomed to approving the President's choice. Rather, it should come about or be denied because we the people make our feelings on the matter known to our senators and they vote responsively.

Bird should not simply be reelected because she's already there. Rather, she should be reelected or defeated because Californians are pleased or displeased with her performance as California chief justice.

ELAINE SADOFF

Encino

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