Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 21, 2005

Nominee needs to respond to Senate concerns

As a Democrat, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to U.S. Circuit Judge John G. Roberts Jr. for becoming the White House's nominee to be the next Supreme Court justice ("Roberts chosen for court," July 20).

This is not because I agree with him on most issues, but because being nominated to the highest court in the land is quite an honor.

But with this honor comes an obligation. While I am not a big fan of nominees being asked how they would rule on specific cases ahead of time, Judge Roberts must answer all other questions posed to him by senators during the confirmation hearings.

A lifetime appointment to the highest court requires such questioning, and our country deserves such a hearing. It is my hope that Judge Roberts will cooperate with such questioning, which will help ease the confirmation process.

Steven M. Clayton

Ocean, N.J.

Confirmation debate sets an ugly example

Much to my dismay, the first shots have been fired in the wars of confirmation, and I can "look forward" to many months of such coverage in The Sun ("Roberts chosen for court," July 20).

We will be treated to the spectacle of one group of lawyers debating the actions of another lawyer. How has it come to this?

If the laws coming out of Congress were written with forethought and clarity, there would be less need for "interpretation" by the Supreme Court. Is it too much to ask our lawmakers to say what they mean and mean what they say?

As for constitutionality, shouldn't our congress people be familiar enough with the Constitution to know whether or not the laws they are passing are constitutional?

Perhaps we would not have such a litigious society if we set a better example at the top.

Nick Pecora

Dundalk

Support prosecutor as he seeks the truth

In "Don't you feel a lot safer now with reporter behind bars?" (Opinion * Commentary, July 17), Leonard Pitts Jr. defends Judith Miller's refusal to reveal her sources on the grounds that doing otherwise undermines the "media's ability to fulfill its role as a watchdog of government."

But what if Ms. Miller is in jail for her part in an effort within the Bush administration to retaliate against a government whistleblower?

In that case, Ms. Miller would be part of a government conspiracy, and would hardly be a watchdog.

We won't really know until prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald reveals his findings ("For prosecutor, CIA leak case comes down to matter of law," July 17). But in the meantime, let's keep in mind that when Valerie Plame was outed, the operations of an entire CIA front company that she was affiliated with were compromised as well.

I say let's support Mr. Fitzgerald in his efforts to get to the bottom of this case, even when that includes jailing Ms. Miller.

Jay Hilgartner

Towson

The wrong solution to `reach the beach'

Most of the state's solutions to traffic congestion involve adding more traffic lanes. This usually only encourages more people to use their cars, making congestion just as bad or worse than it originally was.

And adding another bay bridge would only cause more people to travel to the Eastern Shore and thus cause yet more traffic jams in another part of the state ("Md. panel begins look at another bay bridge," July 18).

I say either let the people going to the shore put up with the traffic or encourage some form of public transportation.

With the cost of gasoline skyrocketing, it would make more sense to promote alternate forms of transportation.

Christine Mitchko

Baltimore

Where's the outrage over city land sale?

Where is the outcry about Mayor Martin O'Malley and the city wanting to sell property to a developer for less than its assessed value ("Mayor defends sales of land," July 14)?

Where is the wailing and gnashing of teeth that surged forward when the state was going to sell property in St. Mary's County, part of which would have been donated to public education?

I don't understand why my fellow Democrats are not showing the same anger over this issue. What a bunch of hypocrites. It's almost enough to make me register Republican.

Karen Fitze

Baltimore

Mt. Vernon's charm is its selling point

While it is extremely important to preserve the historic structures of Mount Vernon and encourage investment and redevelopment, this should not be done by ignoring height limitations.

The charm of the neighborhood will be diminished if developers are allowed to build what they want, and as high as they want, to gain maximum economic return.

The writer of the letter "Taller buildings boost development" (July 16) claims that "assigning an arbitrary limit on what constitutes good development" would ensure that investors will be driven away and develop other parts of the city. I couldn't disagree more.

The city is "hot," and the beauty and elegance of Mount Vernon are a selling point for developers - at least for those who care about the architectural integrity of the area.

Janet Heller

Baltimore

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