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'Judicial Vote Reconsideration'

October 28, 1986

It took a great deal of courage for Philip Johnson to write what amounts to a retraction of his earlier view against reconfirmation of Justices Reynoso and Grodin.

As the leading academic critic of the Rose Bird Court, he was widely quoted in support of a vote against those three judges. Now, upon reconsideration, he humbly admits he was in error and urges a vote against only the chief justice.

Regrettably, his recantation may have come too late to save Reynoso and Grodin. For nearly a year Johnson has contributed, perhaps unwittingly, to the prejudice and hysteria that he denounces. He now faces the unenviable task of trying to put the toothpaste back into the tube. One letter, less than two weeks before election, will hardly suffice.

Were I a cynic I might wonder: If Reynoso and Grodin squeak through, will Johnson then claim that his letter saved them?

Will there be yet another letter to The Times, after election day, suggesting that on further reconsideration he was also wrong in opposing Bird?

And will these letters be followed by still more pronouncements berating the "hanging judges" Gov. George Deukmejian is sure to appoint?

Don't cancel my subscription. I can't wait for the sequels.

GARY HOLT

Pomona

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