Letter to the Editor ¦ April 12, 2001
Choosing referees and judges

By David Langer

Regarding your March 20 article "Stiffer penalties for head-butting the referee": It is noteworthy that the parents and coaches physically assaulting referees at sports events conceivably could demand that, to counter what they regard as the manifest bias of referees in making calls, they be put in charge of selecting the referees. And to further ensure fairness to their kids, they would also be permitted to choose referees from among themselves. Obviously, the parents and coaches would be embarrassed to even suggest this.

However, on the national scene, political conservatives who began by bashing judges whose opinions upset them, have not been similarly embarrassed to put the machinery into place to make sure judges make their decisions in conformance with conservative principles of justice. With this in mind, the president has now chosen an attorney general and solicitor to oversee the operation. The American Bar Association which has been evenhanded in evaluating prospective judges for 50 years, will have its ability to do so severely limited, and the highly conservative Federalist Society will assume a significant role.

Having judges that will do the bidding of the conservative team confers estimable advantages, such as getting the right call on elections and enlarging corporate rights while curtailing those of individuals.

David Langer
Chappaqua, N.Y.