Md. lawmakers wrong to tamper with court case The...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 30, 2002

Md. lawmakers wrong to tamper with court case

The attempts by state legislators to discuss the pending redistricting case with members of the Court of Appeals raise disturbing questions regarding the legislators' ethics and intelligence ("Lawmakers called court about redistricting suit," May 22).

And Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller's feeble, phony rationale for his call to one of the judges - that lawyers regularly call judges after a case is over and complain about the result - demonstrates a degree of arrogance that should give pause to every citizen of Maryland.

Mr. Miller knew full well the case had not been decided when he called to complain about a preliminary ruling.

The redistricting decision will directly affect Mr. Miller and his colleagues in the legislature. By placing his call when he did, Mr. Miller was attempting to send a very clear message to the court. There is no excuse for such heavy-handed and improper interference with the judicial process.

As a lifelong Democrat, I urge the delegates and senators who take office in 2003 to make sure the leaders they elect will be mindful of their important responsibility to foster and maintain the independence of the judiciary.

Benjamin Rosenberg

Baltimore

Funding tax cut, war on backs of the poor

What a strange world we live in: Large tax cuts are bestowed upon the wealthy, and that, together with large sums needed for homeland defense and other military needs, threatens to bog the country down in considerable deficit.

Where to look for relief? At poor women and children on welfare ("For the poor, child-raising not `real' job," Opinion Commentary, May 23).

I am sick and tired of hearing the expression "compassionate conservatism" for people who condemn the poor to jobs that do not pay living wages and take mothers away from their children while not providing adequate child care and health insurance.

I am equally sick of the same people spouting off about family values and religion. True religion teaches us to look out for the needs of the poor and the weak.

Let us hope real compassion wins out in the Senate when the welfare issue is decided.

Elke Straub

Baltimore

Enough is enough in South Asia conflict

Both India and Pakistan are taking advantage of the crisis across the Middle East, and in Afghanistan, to further their fight for the impoverished and war-torn state of Kashmir ("Prepare for `decisive battle,' India leader says," May 23).

From the standpoint of Pakistan, the timing is a godsend. Pakistan thinks it now has the mighty United States in its corner to defend against India, even as it harbors the extremist militants who hide under the disguise of Kashmir separatists.

On the other hand, for India, this is the time to strike while the iron is hot, with respect to eradicating terrorism in the region. It, too, thinks the United States will help achieve its goals.

I am disgusted by all this name-calling and tantrum-throwing. It is about time other countries intervened in this matter and brought this childish behavior to an end. Enough is enough.

Visty Dalal

Glen Burnie

In Malawi, famine could kill millions

Bravo for bringing attention to the critical situation now facing southern Africa ("Another African tragedy," editorial, May 24).

For a decade, World Relief has helped churches in Malawi develop their capacity to address the long-term needs of their people. But in times such as that country's current famine, in which 3 million people are at risk of starving to death, emergency aid is required.

As our Malawi program director told me, "If we do nothing, it's like sentencing the people to a quick death."

Clive Calver

Baltimore

The writer is president of World Relief.

Criticism of Bush goes beyond the pale

What a complete disgrace for Democrats and the national media to imply that President Bush intentionally failed to act to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.

The idea that the president would stand by and allow terrorists to attack our country and kill innocent people is beyond ridiculous.

I hope the Democrats continue to push this issue. What they're likely to find is that a terrorist plot such as the Sept. 11 attacks did not materialize overnight.

Isn't it possible that the Clinton administration might have dropped the ball on intelligence that could have stopped the plan before it got off the ground?

Ed Doheny

Bel Air

Affirmative action, inferior performance

Reading the article about the relationship between race and law school admissions ("Court OK's use of race in law school admissions," May 15), I wondered if there is a significant correlation between pre-training measured aptitude ("the merit of individual applicants") and the quality of professional performance (however that is measured) after training and licensing?

A few neurons in a remote area of my brain seem to remember that affirmative action used to mean that when two applicants were equally qualified, the choice went to the minority applicant.

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