Agnew's BustEditor: I have been informed that The Sun...


July 13, 1991

Agnew's Bust

Editor: I have been informed that The Sun wished to speak to me about a story concerning the absence of a bust of me in the Senate. Frankly, I do not want to discuss the matter. It seems to me that it should not require any initiative on my part.

If the American people feel that my bust should be placed with the others, they should so indicate and I will be glad to cooperate. However, there seems to be little interest in the matter.

You may remember that former Gov. Harry Hughes removed my portrait from the Maryland State House and put it in storage in the basement amid some publicity. So far as I know, it is still in the basement. There have been no protests that have come to my attention from either political party.

Due to the publicity surrounding my resignation, it is useless to remind anyone that none of the recitals of then Attorney General Elliot Richardson were proved and that the only conviction on my record is for the one count of income tax evasion. The impact of Watergate, in which I had no involvement whatsoever, made it impossible for me to receive a fair trial. There was a hunger to get rid of President Nixon, but not unless I was gone first.

Spiro T. Agnew. Rancho Mirage, Calif.

The writer was governor of Maryland from 1967 to 1969 and vice B president of the United States from 1969 until his resignation in B 1973.

Ireland's Fate

Editor: I was very annoyed by letter writer William Hughes' suggestion that the British leave Ireland so as to ''allow the Irish communities to forge their own concept of national identity, without any British colonial interference.''

I have a suggestion. Put Mr. Hughes on a plane to Ireland and have him expound on his pompous statement to the citizens of Northern Ireland. The Northern Irish do prefer to be part of Great Britain rather than be annihilated in a bloodbath.

The British Army has tried for a very long time to protect the Northern Irish from atrocities perpetrated by the Irish Republican Army. As an Englishwoman whose paternal ancestors came from Southern Ireland, I would indeed love to see a resolution of the Irish question.

However, I dislike seeing the myth perpetuated that if only the interfering British government would remove itself from Irish affairs, all parties involved would amicably settle their differences.

Instead of his facile comparison of Britain's presence in Northern Ireland to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, Mr. Hughes would be better off contemplating the similarities between the IRA and Middle Eastern terrorist groups whose members clamor for the ''freedom'' to control their country's destiny, while they disintegrate the bodies of the innocent using explosives purchased with funds from sympathizers.

Karen Boulanger.

Fort Meade.

Political Tribunal

Editor: In his July 6 column, Theo Lippman Jr. argues that ''Judges of lower federal courts, who do just settle cases, are required by law to be lawyers. But not Supreme Court justices. Citizens who have been trained in other but appropriate disciplines should sit on this court.''

As a member of the bar whose lifelong hobby has been the study of jurisprudence -- which I define as the psychology of rights and duties -- I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Lippman. Just as lawyers are not usually allowed on juries, they should in my considered opinion be prevented from sitting on any political tribunal like the modern Supreme Court.

Laymen do not understand that you can graduate from a first-class law school and pass bar examinations handily enough without ever taking a course in ''constitutional law'' -- a subject properly studied as a student of political science rather than law.

A basic problem is that the English word ''law'' is ambiguous -- referring to two very different subjects -- one the product of jurisprudence and the other of legislation. The abstract study of legislation is ''nomology,'' a subject that few lawyers have even heard of.

Worldwide, the study of jurisprudence is based on the Corpus Juris Civilis, a restatement of the Roman jus gentium -- the common law of the Hellenistic world. This has nothing to do with politics, hence nothing much to do with the U.S. Constitution.

For judges and other lawyers as such to meddle in politics has proved disastrous to the science of jurisprudence. Whether a surgeon is a political liberal or conservative is irrelevant to the patient. Whether a judge is a political liberal or conservative should be equally irrelevant to a litigant. Nothing in law school suggests otherwise.

Willis Case Rowe.


The Pride in Finland

Editor: I feel compelled to share my pride of Baltimore with you.

When I recently arrived in Helsinki, Finland, my hosts informed me that the Pride -- our Pride of Baltimore -- was visiting.

To my amazement, the Pride's visit was common knowledge throughout the city of Helsinki and probably the whole country due to the huge amount of coverage in the press and on radio and television.

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