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Celebrity justices

May 05, 2008

Re "High court is no longer above meeting the press," May 1

Public appearances by the U.S. Supreme Court justices reflect the celebrity culture of our times; they have nothing to do with "transparency" of the court. The appearances are not a good thing, just as cameras in the courtroom are not a good thing.

Inevitably, the media create a circus, elevating everything and elucidating nothing. The more appearances the justices perform (yes, it's a performance), the more lawyers will pander to the justices' personalities, demeaning their clients and the law. The more exposure the justices receive, the more exposed they become to risk of harm (yes, physical harm).

The founders created the position of federal judgeship for life to immunize the judges from politics and plebeian influences and distractions. Regrettably, when the chief justice is young enough to be swept in by YouTube and Facebook culture, cameras in the court will not be far behind.

Stephany Yablow

North Hollywood

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When asked about the presidential election of 2000, Justice Antonin Scalia says "get over it." Perhaps we could "get over it" if the president installed in office by the court had not concocted the war in Iraq, justified it with lies, cost tens of thousands of lives and run up a debt that can't be paid for generations.

Perhaps we could "get over it" if we did not see images like the one on The Times' front page of an inconsolable Iraqi mother holding her dead child.

Perhaps we could "get over it" if Hillary Clinton were not threatening to "obliterate" Iran and thus perpetuate the insanity of the current administration.

No, we can't "get over it."

Arthur Morey

and Elissa Tognozzi

Santa Monica

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