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Advise and Consent on Judges

June 01, 2002

Republican Shawn Steel's "Lionesses of the Left Eat Judicial Nominees Alive" (Commentary, May 26) is an ill-considered criticism of our California Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Possibly our two senators are now screening judicial candidates carefully because they regret their failure to act to stop the disastrous appointment of Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft, who is doing his best to roll back civil rights victories achieved over the past 50 years.

This is politics. Of course Democrats have the right to try to obtain judges who represent Democratic ideals--"mainstream judges." Steel further criticizes district judge candidates about their position on Roe vs. Wade. Why not? Today's district judge may be tomorrow's Supreme Court judge. Steel implies that the two senators are unfairly attacking the president's judicial appointment power. Correct me if I am wrong, but according to the Constitution, doesn't the president nominate with the advice and consent of the Senate?

Finally, as a woman I resent the characterization of our senators as lionesses. Such imagery harks back to the days of the Salem witch trials.

Metche F. Franke

Laguna Woods

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What a short memory Steel has concerning judge nominees. As of today, President Bush has gotten more judges appointed than the Republicans allowed President Clinton to get for the same period of time. I guess it is OK for Republicans to play politics but not Democrats. I am so glad Feinstein and Boxer, who were both overwhelmingly voted into office, are being cautious about whom they are allowing to be judges.

Bush, who was not voted into office by the majority of people, showed how important political judges--yes, even Supreme Court judges--can be.

Gail Ann Lewis

Irvine

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Boxer and Feinstein are doing exactly what they were elected to do. Payback for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and his poor Senate Judiciary Committee that blocked Clinton's nominees is well deserved, but more important, it will prevent the court system from being skewed to the right against the wishes of the electorate.

I have a feeling that if President Bush nominated ex-President Clinton for the first opening on the Supreme Court, many of the Republican complaints about delays would disappear.

Jack Theibert

Orange

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