‘Transforming Federal Bench’

The article (Feb. 24), “Reagan Judges Transforming Federal Bench,” offers several interesting quotes from the liberal Alliance for Justice (AFJ).

First, their spokesperson states that “we are very concerned that this Administration has chosen people based more on ideology than merit.”

Where has the AFJ been all these years? Are they trying to tell us that the appointments of Democratic presidents during the 1932-80 era were always just on “merit”? Isn’t it a strange coincidence that each of their appointments also reflected the ideology of the appointing president! Imagine Lyndon Johnson having found a better man than Abe Fortas for the high court!

The AFJ again: “Our aim is that the judiciary remain an independent third branch of government and not so directly reflect the political views of the president.”

Land o-Goshen! Those are the same words my conservative Republican father used in the late 1930s when Franklin D. Roosevelt was appointing New Dealers to the bench. Father would have preferred Herbert Hoover types as, I suppose, the AFJ would like Walter Mondale types.

The truth is that in a democracy a judge’s power emanates not from God, but from the people. And let neither they, nor the AFJ, forget it!


Long Beach