Court is creating police stateJust what we needed! The...

the Forum

May 30, 1991

Court is creating police state

Just what we needed! The Supreme Court has now doubled the time period during which a person can be detained by the police before the person must be taken before a magistrate for validation or rejection of the arrest and the fixing of bail. Even Justice Anthony Scalia issued a scathing dissent.

It was not enough, I suppose, that the activist, right-wing majority on the court had already overturned decades of civil and individual rights rulings, including the gutting of our habeas corpus rights which were more or less the centerpiece of our Anglo-Saxon system of criminal jurisprudence and as old as the Magna Carta.

The high court, as currently constituted, is very rapidly turning our beloved nation into a police state! If this rewriting of U.S. constitutional law had any potential at all to reduce the crime rate, perhaps the people could almost stomach the change; alas, however, this suspension of individual rights and fundamental freedoms will serve only to cater to the wishes of our extreme right-wing lunatic fringe and those other folks in our country who would prefer a fascist dictatorship form of government. Heaven help us!

I.H. Desser


False analogies

Paul O'Brien's letter (Forum, May 21) critical of Helen Alvare's letter (May 15) and her position on the fetus, is rife with false statements.

Even the analogies he uses expose his ignorance of facts widely known throughout our society. Doesn't the director of social concerns of the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore know that the Catholic bishops he refers to in his analogy have no wives to beat?

A life is not a life because of someone's opinion. To say a fetus, the day before it is born, can be subjected to the whim of a woman's "individuality," yet 24 hours later this same woman would be charged with murder for taking its life, is poppycock with a capital "P." It's a biological fact that this is a human life that should have the protection of our constitution. To call this precious life a "glorified organ of the mother" shows a total disregard for the facts and shows contempt for the uniqueness and preciousness of all human life.

The issue is not control of women's lives, as Mr. O'Brien states; the issue is giving the right to life to our unborn, yet living young.

James R. Cook


The real Baltimore

I hope many of our local TV anchorpersons saw the article on the "pointers" in the May 24 Evening Sun. It's amusing to watc the "promos" about their love for Baltimore and then to hear and watch them speak of "Beth Steel," "Fulton Street" and other Baltimore landmarks they know and love so well.

Perhaps what they need is a tour of this area other than Columbia and Cockeysville so that they can learn about the real Baltimore!

McNair Taylor


City spending

Shortly, our City Council and its president will be talking about cutting a nickel off the Baltimore city property tax rate of $5.95. Council President Mary Pat Clarke will probably come up with another list of new taxes to compensate for the cut. The City Council should realize that the same taxpayers would be paying her new taxes in addition to the property tax. Anyhow, it would take 20 years to cut $1 from the $5.95 rate at a nickel a year.

Surely, the entire council can't be stupid enough to think that taxpayers are willing to wait 20 years for a dollar cut. So the solution is cutting expenses. Baltimore city government is way out of proportion. It has about 29,000 employees for a population of less than 700,000. This comes to about one city employee for every 25 people. This borders on the ridiculous.

If the council and its tax-thinking president can't add a lot more to the places where they could cut expenses, we should think seriously about another form of government for Baltimore. Maybe a city manager and a small board.

Alfred Feher


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