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Justice Marshall's Retirement

July 07, 1991

In response to "Unchecked and Unbalanced," Commentary, June 28:

In comparing my studies of our form of government (admittedly a long time ago) with the views of Alan Dershowitz, I find little remaining of the original "checks and balances" envisioned by these early patriots. It seems that Dershowitz finds our legislative (elected by the people), executive (elected by the people) and judicial (appointed for life and responsible to no one) branches incapable of carrying out the will of the people with built-in checks and balances.

The fact that the liberally biased Supreme Court over the last 50 years has literally usurped the prerogatives of the legislative and the executive branch usurped the legislature by the issuance of executive orders does not mean that this was the intent of our forefathers.

It is time we rid ourselves of the "elitist" view that only a Supreme Court bent on rewriting the Constitution can protect the rights of criminal defendants, minorities, the economically deprived and those groups that can convince the press that they are being discriminated against. In plain language this is "hogwash." We may finally be getting back to true "checks and balances" after a long binge of irresponsible legislation by the judiciary.

ROBERT W. DEATS

Pacific Palisades

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