- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 16, 2001

Gray explains all
In an interview with Fox News yesterday, C. Boyden Gray explained the particulars of the Federalist Society, which Democrats regard "as a ring of right-wingers bent on taking over the judiciary," according to host Brit Hume.
"Its a debating forum primarily, but its also a network of people who share generally certain ideas about limited government," Mr. Gray said. "It does not recommend candidates for any position. When called upon by the White House counsels office or by senators or by Cabinet members … they will supply names from their membership."
The Federalist Society does not take positions on specific legislative matters, lobby on the Hill, or recommend positions on issues, Mr. Gray said.
But will the Federalist Society take on the role of the American Bar Association in the judicial-selection process?
"Absolutely not," Mr. Gray said. "We do not have a membership group of 15 or so people who spend their time evaluating and screening and recommending candidates … [the society] doesnt have an agenda because if you tried to play out the general philosophy, which is one of merely restating what the Constitution says, you would get 100 different views on any given issue."
And that, Mr. Gray said, makes Federalist Society debates "rich and robust and interesting."

He, she and it

The word police are headed to New York.
Come Nov. 6, voters will decide if the state constitution should go "gender neutral," changing such words as "firemen" to "firefighters" and adding "her" and "she" to "him" and "he." About 170 words of the 46-page constitution would change.
Though Democratic Assemblywoman Sandra Galef said the constitution should reflect that "women are equal partners in every facet of life," she added that voters have traditionally resisted making changes to the constitution.
Similar measures failed in the Wyoming House of Representatives, where opponents claimed it would not be worth the time and expense to make the constitution politically correct. Nebraska voters also defeated a gender-neutral amendment, as did New Hampshire voters in 1998. Things differ in Florida, though.
In 1998, that states voters approved an amendment that removed "gender-biased" language from the states constitution.

No hustling at Hustler

Los Angeles City Council candidate Tom Hayden has second thoughts about staging an event in a certain spot.
Mr. Hayden canceled a fund-raiser that had been planned for Larry Flynts Hustler magazine offices, little more than a month after returning a donation from Playboy Enterprises.
"News stories published over the weekend will no doubt increase media attention on a scale that makes it advisable to cancel the Flynt fund-raiser," said Rocky Rushing, Mr. Haydens campaign manager.
But it may be too little, too late.
"Why did he choose Hustler in the first place? Its troubling, particularly when you consider Hustlers portrayal of women and children in a very demeaning way," said Susan Shaw, spokeswoman for Jack Weiss, Mr. Haydens opponent for the 5th District seat.
Last week, Mr. Hayden, a longtime state senator and one-time husband of actress Jane Fonda, defended the fund-raiser despite his "concerns" about the pornographic content of Hustler, saying he supported Mr. Flynt as an advocate for "First Amendment free-speech rights."
In March, Mr. Hayden returned a $250 contribution from Playboy Enterprises Inc., which he had accepted even while his campaign coordinator, Sandy Brown, led a group that condemned the racy parties at the Playboy Mansion.

One potato, two potato

The Clinton legacy continues.
U.S. News & World Reports Paul Bedard notes that "Ex-President Clinton has done it again: left another rotten potato for his successor. This one is known as Executive Order 13166, signed last fall with little notice. Its swell-sounding goal is to provide interpreters for immigrants seeking federal help."
Eventually, it may require anyone getting federal dollars — schools, doctors, nonprofits, highway departments, shelters, and even cemeteries — to have translators at the ready. Highway departments may have to stop using English on road signs, and switch to European-style symbols, doctors may have to hire translators to sit in offices to handle new patients.
"The long arm of Clinton is still reaching out," says Rep. Ernest Istook, Oklahoma Republican. He pressed a surprised White House on the issue in hearings last week, claiming the rule is burdensome and potentially expensive.
Mr. Istook "seemed to get the Bushies attention: White House aides say theyll review the Clinton rule," Mr. Bedard writes.

Smoke screen

The folks who supply medical marijuana to sick people are consulting with attorneys and fretting about Mondays Supreme Court decision to outlaw the stuff.
But the stuff will keep coming.
"Were a little rattled," said Scott Imler of the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center. "As of today at 11 a.m., I opened the door and let the members in. I guess were in violation of the Supreme Court order," later adding, "The co-op will continue in its mission."
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer would not say how his office will respond to the high courts decision. Further review will be required, he said.
Still, Mr. Lockyer said, he was disappointed the high court "was unable to respect Californias historic role as a 'laboratory for good public policy and a leader in the effort to help sick and dying residents who have no hope for relief other than through medical marijuana."

Another volley

Embattled former Sen. Bob Kerrey has faced down a new round of attacks. Mr. Kerrey met with 215 graduate students at the New School University, where he is now president, to discuss the charges that he led a raid on unarmed Vietnam civilians in 1969 that left 21 dead.
"Look at my record. I dont think you will find that I am yellow-dog, imperialist scum," he told them in a "sometimes contentious meeting," according to the New York Daily News.
"If somebody else, Congress or the Navy wants the investigation, I will do it," the Medal of Honor winner said. "But I dont see the need to call for one."
Last week, graduate students passed a resolution saying his justification for killing civilians was at odds with the Greenwich Village schools mission. Mr. Kerrey called the accounts of the incidents flawed, refused to resign from his university post, and said, "I dont wish to argue with them."

'Wing' ding

In theory, could NBCs "West Wing" pretend-President Bartlet be impeached for not disclosing he suffered from multiple sclerosis when he ran for office?
Presidential historian Paul Boller tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that while a president in Mr. Bartlets situation would not be im- peached in real life, opinions would divide along party lines and there would be pressure on the president to resign or not seek re-election.
The rest of the plot is "unrealistic." A president could never entrust "17 people" with such a secret, like on the show.
"That would leak," said Mr. Boller. "There is more of a demand to know about what a president does every day, and reporters seem to be interested more in personal lives than policy."


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