- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Judge Pryor takes a seat

In your story on President Bush’s recess appointment of Alabama Attorney General William H. Pryor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit (“Bush again installs a judge at recess,” Page 1, Saturday), you erroneously report that his commission will expire (unless he is confirmed by the Senate) “when the term of the present congressional session expires.” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, appears to think so, too, saying, “The only solace we have is that Mr. Pryor will be off the bench in 10 months.” Not so; under the terms of Article II, Section 2, Clause 3, a recess commission expires “at the End of [the] next Session” of the Senate. Ten months hence is the end of the current session, not the next one. Judge Pryor is firmly seated until late in the year 2005, at least (and for life if he is confirmed in the meantime).IsuspectMr. Schumer will blow a gasket when he learns the “10 months” will be more like 22.

MATTHEW J. FRANCK

Professor and chairman

Department of Political Science

Radford University

Radford, Va.

Unlike your competition, The Washington Post, The Washington Times saw fit to include all relevant information upfront on the Pryor appointment, including the fact that the Senate Democrats were using procedural shenanigans to keep Judge Pryor from receiving an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. The Washington Post put a vague reference to these facts in the last column on Page A7, leaving one with the impression that the senators were all, by and large, in agreement that Judge Pryor is a fringe candidate instead of one capable of being confirmed by the full Senate.

NORMAN HENDRICKSON

Bowie

For the second time in six weeks, President Bush has used a congressional recess to appoint an unacceptable person to the court — circumventing the will of Congress. Yes, this is technically legal. But no, this is not a fair and balanced way to run the government — stacking the courts with right-wing judges, which will have a negative impact on the good of the country for decades.

ELIZABETH W. NAAB

Washington

When judges are too slow

There’s one simple but deadly word to define the unlawful conduct of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in his issuance of illegal marriage licenses — “anarchy” (“San Francisco sues state over gay ‘marriage,’ ” Nation, Friday). The governor must use his constitutional power to order his state police to arrest the mayor unless he immediately ceases that action.

KENNETH E. WYMAN

Huntsville, Ala.

How dare the mayor of San Francisco thwart the expressed will of Californians and impose same-sex “marriage” on the state and the rest of the nation? The mayor is belligerently violating the law and should be prosecuted.

His so-called civil disobedience comes at the expense of the rights of the citizens of California and the rest of the nation.

SHIRLEY WOODS

Freeville, N.Y.

People who are getting carried away by same-sex “marriage” fervor should know that marriage is a moral obligation of committed love and a social contract. So, everyone, homosexual or straight, should take the matters of such unions carefully. All in all, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom deserves kudos for taking a bold step toward inserting rationality and justice for all. My only hope is that our lawmakers take his message seriously.

VIVEK SHARMA

New York

It has been more than a week since same-sex “marriages” started in San Francisco, and I have just completed a random spot check on their impact on my heterosexual married friends here. So far, all of them are still together. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to contact Elizabeth Taylor, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Larry King, Liza Minnelli or Britney Spears, so I can only hope that all the wedded bliss in San Francisco will not negatively affect the sanctity of their next round of marriages.

WILLIAM STOSINE

Iowa City, Iowa

The Beltway toll

On the first page of the Feb. 18 Metropolitan section, The Washington Times reported that the District was arguing in court that it spends more money providing services to D.C. workers who reside outside of the District than it brings in from these nonresidents in sales taxes, parking tickets, etc. (“Lack of commuter tax unfair to residents, lawyers say”). If this is true, why does the District fight so hard to keep jobs from moving to Virginia and Maryland? Wouldn’t moving these “foreign” workers out mean reducing current D.C. resources required for subsidized services? Is the District being truthful to U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle about the economics involved?

JOHN LEMKE

Burke

When I see a D.C. license tag with “Taxation Without Representation,” I wonder if this makes a commuter tax on nonresidents fair. I know some D.C. residents want representatives in Congress, but does “representation” and fairness only apply to D.C. residents, not commuters? Commuters will be taxed without representation, so is that fair for us?

EDWARD T. STEVENSON

Arlington

Libertarian-minded nannies

It is salutary that The Washington Times should decry the nanny-statists in New Mexico who believe the specter of drunken driving so dangerous that prior restraint in the form of Breathalyzer locks are the proper form of address in a free society (“New Mexico is nuts,” Editorial, Friday). How ironic, though, that The Times’ momentarily libertarian-minded editorialists then strap on the aprons and advocate the banishment of “dangerous” free speech advocating the legalization of marijuana (“Metro on track,” Editorial, Friday).

I concede that the ad campaign offering better sex through hemp must have been dreamt up after some serious sessions of civil disobedience to marijuana laws. What’s next? Will advocates of legalizing hard drugs beg Metro for free space to advertise the recreational benefits of a “needle park”?

But suggesting that these salacious marijuana promos do not take cognizance of the area’s struggle with high rates of teen pregnancy and HIV transmission is no different than the New Mexico legislature suggesting that selling cars without Breathalyzers fails to give proper consideration to higher-than-average drunken-driving fatalities in the state. Some might argue that there is a broad economic penalty associated with the New Mexico prohibition, while the ban on drug-legalization signs doesn’t drain the gross domestic product.

The real question Congress ought to be asking regarding these ads is: What is Metro doing handing out free ad space to anyone, whether sanctioned by the ubiquitous Ad Council, the American Civil Liberties Union or any other bowl of liberal alphabet soup? All of these Erin Brockovich-in-waiting pseudo-scientific wannabes should pay their way, just like the “evil” corporations and capitalists they inevitably attack. When was the last time you saw a “public service” ad encouraging more coal burning or drilling for oil in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to save us from an energy shortage?

BRIAN BISHOP

Exeter, R.I.

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