Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 20, 2006

Court gave Assembly a decisive rebuke

The Sun's editorial criticizing the Maryland Court of Appeals' decision on the Public Service Commission struck me as too kind to the General Assembly and unfair to the court ("Revenge of the PSC," Sept. 17).

I did not encounter any of the problems The Sun had appreciating the logic of the four opinions, which are readily accessible on the court's Web site.

On balance, they delivered a well-reasoned and decisive legal rebuke to the Assembly.

The Sun cited the fact that the court issued four opinions to support its conclusion that the "exact reasoning of the court is muddled" in this case.

But the fact is we know from three opinions exactly why six of the seven judges found the contested provisions of the Assembly's plan to be unconstitutional and to pose very real threats to the separation of powers, which provides checks and balances against the abuse of power by any one branch of the government.

This is hardly a speculative concern about an Assembly whose acts imposing benefit requirements on Wal-Mart and creating unconstitutional election procedures to favor targeted constituencies have also been rejected by the courts.

Paul G. Edwards

Towson

Citizens should oust partisan legislators

Recent court decisions on laws passed by the Maryland legislature have repeatedly found that the legislature acted illegally ("Court rulings loom large in campaign," Sept. 17).

Each of these laws (the "Wal-Mart" bill, the early voting bill and the law reorganizing the Public Service Commission) was a highly charged attempt to garner partisan advantage.

In each case, the legislature wasted significant state resources (time and money) on futile, self-serving activities.

This is time, money and effort that should have been used on legislative activities that actually benefit the state.

The slipshod way that the legislature conducts its business is a disgrace and an outrage.

Voters should consider the quality of the work of our legislators as well as the partisan direction of their ideology before returning them to office.

For my part, I believe we should throw the bums out.

Fred Koenig

Aberdeen

Could Orioles use Miller and Busch?

The Maryland Court of Appeals has, again, found that legislation ramrodded into law by the Maryland Democratic Party has failed to pass legal muster ("PSC firing overturned," Sept. 15).

With the court's rejection of a law that attempted to fire the members of the Public Service Commission, the Democrats are now 0-3 in their attempts to get such high-visibility legislation approved by the courts.

With this kind of record, one wonders if Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos would consider hiring House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller to manage the Orioles next year.

The Orioles couldn't get any worse, and Mr. Angelos could provide these two with adequate legal counsel - something they apparently have been sorely lacking.

Michael D. Rausa

Forest Hill

Why isn't GOP angry at judicial activists?

In the last 12 months, the Maryland Court of Appeals struck down statutes allowing early voting, mandating a level of medical coverage by Wal-Mart and reorganizing the Public Service Commission ("Court rulings loom large in campaigns," Sept. 17).

All three laws were passed by the legislature over Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s veto.

I am waiting for Republicans to attack these activist judges for thwarting the people's will.

Jerry Levin

Baltimore

Buttressing Baghdad still another failure

What next? We now have plans for trenches around Baghdad ("Trenches planned to circle Baghdad," Sept. 16) and a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, and neglected swaths where there were once vital communities along the Gulf Coast.

The Bush administration has come to symbolize not just corruption, venality and callous disregard for the welfare of American citizens.

It now reeks of gross incompetence in its ability to conduct either foreign or domestic affairs with any effectiveness or in its respect for human rights and human lives.

John Bosley

Baltimore

Criticizing Cardin over blog isn't fair

Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin wasted no time in firing a junior staff member for writing disgusting racist and anti-Semitic remarks on her personal Internet blog ("Cardin campaign staffer fired over racial blog posts," Sept. 17).

Melissa Sellers, spokeswoman for Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's Senate campaign, also wasted no time in using the incident to make political hay: "It is deeply disturbing to learn that a staff member of 10-term Congressman Ben Cardin would keep a blog chronicling racial prejudices toward Lieutenant Governor Steele and others," she said. "This is the kind of attitude and gutter politics that Marylanders are sick of and why they are ready for change."

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