It is ironic that the same conservatives who hounded California Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird from the bench are now suddenly condemning opponents of the Bork nomination for trying to bring politics into the process of selecting a new justice. Aside from their obvious hypocrisy, such charges simply make no sense. Of course, no one wants an unqualified candidate, but there is a large pool of skilled jurists who are technically qualified and political considerations clearly played a major role in Reagan's decision to nominate Bork, as they should in the Senate's decision whether or not to ratify the nomination.
The value of the Supreme Court is not that it is removed from politics, but that once appointed, its members are insulated from the short-term emotional swings in public opinion that may threaten basic human rights and liberties.
JAMES W. COLEMAN
San Luis Obispo