- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The idiot box meets the legal system

Hans Bader wrote in his Sunday letter, “Simply ridiculous,” that administrative law judge Roy Pearson’s $54 million lawsuit “is so ridiculous that it undermines confidence in the legal system” and that as a public employee, the judge is held to a higher standard than ordinary citizens.

Many won’t find it as ridiculous as Mr. Bader thinks, and their confidence in the legal system will have suffered little, if at all. Exposure to the television courtroom is how many people get all they know about our legal system.

Here in Virginia Beach, for example, we have a full 7½ hours of the stuff every weekday between 1 and 8 p.m. on just three broadcast television stations. On some of the shows, judges solicit opinions from their bailiffs and allow, encourage and occasionally participate in loud and lengthy arguments between the litigants. One brandishes a baseball bat. Frequently, the judge himself will be the least dignified person in the courtroom. That’s hard to do.

It’s no wonder that a $54 million lawsuit over a lost pair of pants doesn’t seem as preposterous as it would have just a few years ago.

WILLIAM RICHARDSON

Virginia Beach, Va.

Please, articulate, Mr. Bush

The discussion about immigration has mostly articulated the problems brought about by illegal immigration. Steve Chapman’s excellent Sunday Commentary column, “Immigration side-effects,” offers important information on the other side of the discussion and is very helpful in getting a more balanced picture. Mr. Chapman’s column is a voice of reason in the swirl of political rhetoric.

President Bush is pushing hard to get the current compromise immigration bill passed. It is very frustrating, however, that he has not articulated his reasons for supporting this controversial legislation. I would like to hear from the president why this is a good thing for our country.

If Mr. Bush can’t state his position cogently, delegate it to someone who can. Help us understand. A written statement from the White House outlining the reasons our country needs this legislation passed would be greatly appreciated.

CHRISTOPHER S. MOODY

Gaithersburg

Politics as usual?

Washington’s failed attempt to award dressed-up amnesty to the sizable chunk of Mexico’s population that is in this country illegally is perhaps more a reaction to the newfound resolve of other jurisdictions to take the lead in dealing with illegal immigration (“Bush urges Hispanics to speak up,” Page 1, Saturday).

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