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Supreme Court Elections

November 02, 1986

Thank you for your editorial, "Support for the Justices." It eloquently states the reasons why the six justices standing for confirmation should be confirmed in their offices, including Chief Justice Bird. However, The Times has not, to my knowledge, stressed the fact that the Republican Party, and the No on Bird, Grodin and Reynoso forces, have, in my opinion, accomplished one of the major and no doubt slickest jobs of hoodwinking the public in this matter, in any campaign that I can recall.

While support for or against the death penalty and its enforcement is clearly an important issue, the public really should realize the percentage of its members affected by homicides in this state is minuscule compared to the numbers of persons who are affected by decisions of the Supreme Court which reach their lives in much more significant ways, including employment, rent, equal pay for women, civil rights, employment termination rights, and other number of areas which directly control the conduct of our lives.

The true purpose behind the anti-Bird forces in this campaign should be shouted from the rooftops. Do the members of racial and ethnic minorities of this state, the renters, the women, the homosexuals, the non-English-speaking, and the employees, really feel that a George Deukmejian-packed court is going to render decisions in favor of their hard-fought victories to date?

Instead, they should weigh carefully the importance to them of the enforcement of the death penalty versus, for example, enforcement of rent control ordinances, anti-discrimination laws in employment and housing, and the protection from wrongful termination of employment, which the present court worked to accomplish.

While sitting justices may not comment on their own personal views on particular issues, such comments being unethical under the Judicial Code of Ethics, their record in regard to the above-mentioned issues should be cited with approval, and loudly so.

WILLIAM F. PIRTLE

Beverly Hills

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