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Rockville Centre, N.Y.

Testing the nominees’ bona fides

Once again David Limbaugh hits the nail on the head: “A vibrant, contagious, successful GOP is not reactive” (“Social liberals long shots for the GOP,” Commentary, Thursday). He observes that Ronald Reagan “did not build his coalition by diluting his principles, but by articulating them without compromise or filter.” Conservative Republicans should expect no less from the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.

Mr. Limbaugh believes “social liberals like Rudolph Giuliani are long shots for the Republican nomination,” and their “promises to appoint originalist judges won’t likely mollify the conservative base.”

Traditional American values have been aggressively attacked for the last fifty years. Many believe the major thrust began in the 1950s with the advent of the Warren Court. Since then, liberal activist justices have dominated a Supreme Court that has contorted beyond recognition the meaning of simple constitutional language to support judicial social engineering consistent with the values du jour under attack by the left.

The irony is the presence on the court of Republican appointees who were closet liberals. President Gerald Ford appointed Justice John Paul Stevens, the court’s most liberal active member. President George H.W. Bush appointed Justice David Souter, the most stealthy liberal I can recall. President Reagan appointed Justice Anthony Kennedy, the most unpredictable of the lot.

And therein is the conundrum: how to assure the bona fides of conservative, originalist nominees to the Supreme Court? As the makeup of the present court attests, the answer is that you cannot. Yet it does not take a rocket scientist to realize the likelihood of success is substantially reduced if a Republican nominee who is, or has recently been, a social liberal should win in 2008.

All of which seems to validate Mr. Limbaugh’s belief that Republicans must select from the “capable, credible and electable candidates… who are ‘right’ across [a]… spectrum” embodying a complete range of leadership qualities, which include dealing with terrorists and those who attack traditional values. One thing is certain. When considering who has a chance of winning in 2008, Republicans should not limit Mr. Limbaugh’s “electable candidates” to those who have declared.

ROBERT HARGEST

Alexandria

Abortion and ‘choice’

The editorial “Abortion in Maryland” (Tuesday) cited the horrible killing of a seven-months’ pregnant 24-year old by the baby’s father and how that will be the first test of the Maryland fetal homicide law where the killer can be charged in the murders of both the mother and the baby.

Pregnant women are sometimes killed because they refuse to kill their babies when the fathers don’t want the responsibility. Unfortunately, such killings are commonplace in the United States because of legalized abortion. Murder was the leading cause of death among pregnant women in Maryland between 1993 and 1998, according to a March 2001 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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