Letters to the Editor


Past abuses of “diverse” judiciary require present scrutiny

Adam White’s column, “Black-listing conservatives, then and now” rates a brief follow-up.

Mr. White’s thesis is that there is something wrong with “liberals” scrutinizing conservative nominations of minorities for the Supreme Court. He says that “liberals” should refrain from opposing “highly qualified” minority nominees as “too conservative.” But why should they do that? Aren’t they are still experiencing the pangs of past oversight?

In the recent past, popular conceptions of diversity have been speciously invoked to secure some very insufferable government appointments. It is quite instructive to see certain nominees gain support in the confirmation process by appealing to notions of cosmetic diversity – only moments before totally abandoning the group of persons composing the diversity element that the nominee was touted to represent. So, why would anyone accept another diversity-based nominee without considering the way the diversity cachet has been abused in the past?

Further, Mr. White’s use of the word “qualified” reveals his belief that conservatives are truly committed to confirming nominees on conventional notions of “merit.” However, from the looks of their party composition, a minority cohort is “meritorious” among the conservatives if he or she is: (a) self-effacing; (b) easily marginalized; (c) decidedly opposed to the majoritarian goals of the group he or she is offered to represent; or (d) all of the above.

On a sub-textual note, Mr. White also suggests that Thurgood Marshall’s ascendancy to the Supreme Court is somehow less worthy of historical recognition than the unsuccessful attempt of an earlier, and purportedly “more highly qualified,” William Hastie.

In response, it should be first clarified that the Black History archive is, and will always be, a work in progress. It necessarily falls short in celebrating the innumerable and sparsely documented acts of nobility that have positively impacted the Black American enterprise. With that said, it is notable that William Hastie receives considerable recognition within the Black History canon; not because he was more qualified than Marshall to sit on the bench (a comparison that is as irrelevant as it is infeasible), but because he, like Marshall, made profound contributions to the Black American enterprise.

Brian King Jr., 2L

“Style and substance” of Senator Edwards can beat Bush in November

People with first-hand knowledge of working-class life consistently have more credible and insightful things to say about the crafting of social policy. This pattern has become obvious in my HLS classes, and the observation helped me choose a candidate in the Democratic presidential primary: Senator John Edwards. The race is not over, and I strongly feel that our fellow lawyer is the contender best suited to carry America to victory and healing in November.

Edwards offers not only the charisma and speaking skills of a successful plaintiff’s attorney, but also a compelling personal story and specific plans for reforming our nation. His working-class childhood helped shape his priorities and strengths today. Edwards survived a nasty Republican smear campaign to win election to the Senate from North Carolina, providing him training for the battles ahead. His detailed policy agenda focuses on bridging the class divide in our nation, starting in the crucial area of educational inequity.

Rather than testing students into oblivion and using vouchers to shirk reform, Edwards proposes to help struggling students succeed by providing federal funds to expand after-school programs and school community service initiatives, decrease the size of high schools, expand college outreach efforts, and attract high-quality young teachers to troubled districts, as well as to subsidize one year of public college for every interested student. He also would expand health care coverage to reach every uninsured child. A much fuller description of Edwards’s platform, including job initiatives, homeland security plans, and an eleven-point civil rights agenda, is available at www.johnedwards2004.com.

Edwards’s style and substance can appeal to everyone in America, from the command centers of American liberalism to the red states of his and my native South, and everywhere in between. His intense sincerity will help drive his message home, and I believe he is the candidate best equipped to beat Bush in the general election.

Please join me in supporting John Edwards for President. Our time is now.

Amanda C. Goad, 2L

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