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The word and the law

June 05, 2007

Re "Life vs. the law," editorial, May 31

The Times' editorial board reveals itself as the judicial-activist adherent I'd long suspected it was. But much worse, as a loather of language. Irrespective of the merits of this particular law, "180 days" means 180 days. Imprecision in language and communication is a regrettable reality, not something to be championed in service of a perceived social benefit. And your apparent disdain that "Congress is left to act" speaks volumes. Wasn't there something about the distinction between enacting and interpreting law?

D.F. TWEEDIE

Anaheim

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The rigidity and technicality of words are secondary -- important is the intent of the statute. In the case of tire plant supervisor Lilly Ledbetter, there was no willful negligence or delay on her part in filing the claim petition. Hence, the time limit should not have been applied in her case. Clearly, it was not her fault but that of her employer, who kept her in the dark. That aberration on the part of the employer should have prompted the Supreme Court to award full compensation to Ledbetter.

MOHAN SIROYA

Irvine

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The Times, and presumably a majority of its readers, incorrectly assume that the primary function of the federal courts is to correct injustice. A judge's primary duty is to follow the law. Remedying social injustices is a policy matter suited for our elected representatives. Asking the courts to intervene in social causes only assures that judicial officers will somehow see themselves as crusaders on the forefront of social issues, injecting their personal opinions and biases into matters of public discourse. Such actions, moreover, inevitably lead to unequal protection under the law, which no citizen of this republic should countenance under any circumstance. Any problem in the court's decision lies not with the majority's sound reasoning but with the Congress that drafted the law in the first instance.

JAY ROBINSON

Pomona

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