- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 5, 2005

Price of security

According to Jerry Seper (“Border Patrol hiring ripped,” Page 1, Thursday), the Democrats are refusing to authorize the hiring of 210 new Border Patrol agents because President Bush did not (yet) hire the 2,000 agents he requested in December’s intelligence authorization bill.

And: “Last month, House Democrats tried to block a Republican-backed bill to crack down on illegal immigrants’ use of driver’s licenses and limit asylum claims, arguing that Mr. Bush should first fund the promised number of Border Patrol agents as a way of proving that he is serious about homeland security.”

That sounds like — if you don’t spend all the money, we won’t let you spend any of it.

Did anyone ever explain to the Democrats that at least doing something about illegal immigration is better than doing nothing? This is obstructionism raised to a new plateau. It may be just moderately inconvenient with judicial nominees, but it’s downright dangerous when toying with national security. Once again the Democrats are proving themselves the party of “it’s all about us” and not about “U.S.”

JOHN H. ABRAMS

Andes, N.Y.

Supremes betray the Constitution

The Supreme Court decision striking down the death penalty for juveniles (“High court bans death row for minors” Page 1, Wednesday) underscores the textualist versus so-called common-sense approach of the court.

Justice Antonin Scalia advocates textualism — the law is the law if written in a constitutionally prescribed manner. If the written law is abhorrent, it is up to lawmakers to rewrite it. Others, including Justice Anthony Kennedy, would judicially amend a law to reflect what, in the court’s view, a legislature should have done — or should do.

Justice Kennedy takes the “common sense” approach further down a greased slope toward interpretation by popular opinion in writing, “It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty.”

Good grief. Would Justice Kennedy similarly vote to redistribute wealth forcibly because he divines that a majority of the international (or even domestic) community advocates it? When the law, as written, no longer is sacred, we drift toward anarchy.

FRANK N. WILNER

Alexandria

Tony Blankley’s Wednesday Op-Ed column, “Black Robes and Betrayal,” was right on the mark. Its only fault is that Mr. Blankley does not go the extra logical step and conclude that the Supreme Court has not only betrayed the Constitution, but it has effectively destroyed it. Standards of review such as “evolving standards of decency” are nonstandards that ultimately permit federal judges to amend the Constitution judicially to fit their pet ideologies. When they have that power, the Constitution effectively is a meaningless document.

An institution of government that has unilateral power to amend the Constitution without any effective check on its activities poses the threat of tyranny. It is time for the country to seriously take up the project of judicial reform. Term limits for federal judges are one solution that should be considered.

JAY VAIL

Tallahassee, Fla.

Weak words of peace

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said that Israel’s “history is full of destroying the prospects for peace in the Middle East,” (“Israel destructive to peace, Kingdom’s envoy says,” World, Monday). Saudi Arabia is a country that does not allow Jews in its land; women are not allowed to drive, nor can they leave the country without permission from a male relative. These are just a few of the many restrictions on the citizens of Saudi Arabia.

How can any opinion about peace with Israel be considered valid coming from a representative of such a repressive country? Saudi Arabia is a country that sponsors terrorism, finances schools worldwide that teach hatred and is the home of 15 of the 19 terrorists that attacked the United States on September 11, 2001. Let us not forget that Osama bin Laden is also from Saudi Arabia.

Prince Saud has been running Saudi foreign policy for more than 30 years; if he is a man of peace, his influence has been very weak. Therefore, I would not use him as proof that Israel is destructive to the peace bid. Israel has sacrificed thousands of lives and given up much land in the name of peace.

It is time to realize that the only peace that will be acceptable to this Saudi prince is the disappearance of Israel and the Jewish people — as Saudi Arabia is free of Jews.

RUTH GOETZ

Baltimore

God’s laws

It is apparent that Cal Thomas needs a remedial course in Bible history, for some of his comments in his column “Supreme Judge and the Supreme Court” (Commentary, Friday) are historically in error.

By suggesting that an analogy may exist between Talmudic Jewish “kosher-ness” and the formation of the U.S. Constitution, his claim that the Ten Commandments are “uniquely Jewish” fails the test of truth, time and validity.

The Ten Commandments were levied upon “Hebrews,” not Talmudic Jews, centuries before the derivative “Jew” emerged — 1,200 years after the time of Abraham. Those Hebrews subsequently became “Israelites,” with Jacob’s divinely ordained name change to “Israel,” of which the tribe of Judah was only a small portion: one-twelfth.

Nor was Moses “Jewish,” as Mr. Thomas states — because this title or cognomen did not emerge on the world scene until a very small element of the nation of Judah had returned to Jerusalem from its Babylonian captivity, centuries after Moses’ death.

Further, to New Testament events cited regarding the Ten Commandments: Mr. Thomas seems not to understand that the law was not completely done away with — that only the “ordinances,” the rituals, sacrifices and ceremonies, observed and performed for absolution and assigned to Israel while at Mount Sinai, were abolished (by his mission). All other laws remained intact, instructive and predominant.

What many Christians, including Mr. Thomas, do not seem to understand is that secular government has no real dominion over the law or its existence other than trying to “change” it as the law’s natural, divinely ordained features remain intact and inviolate despite the machinations of foolish men hoping to redefine and limit their content and intent.

Long after we are all gone and are awaiting the final judgment, those divinely ordained laws will continue, and it is how we obeyed them during our lifetimes that will determine the outcome of that “judgment.” The law and its specific finality will remain forever, and whatever changes secular leaders try to make will have no impact on how the law will be adjudicated in that divine court of final judgment.

J. RICHARD NIEMELA

Reston

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