It was amusing to observe the excitement of discovery in E. J. Dionne's article "New Court of Last Resort" {Outlook, July 29}. Wow! Congress! Why didn't I think of that?

It seems suddenly to have occurred to Dionne and the liberals that something can be achieved through the legislative process and that it is not necessary to control the courts in order to enact a liberal social or economic agenda.

That, of course, is what Robert Bork and other advocates of judicial restraint -- whom your paper invariably describes as conservatives -- have been saying for a generation. But Bork and his followers, including, one hopes, David H. Souter, go further: they argue that enacting anyone's social or economic agenda through the courts is contrary to the fundamental principles of democracy. Judges, after all, are an elite group who have no more right to make value judgments for the rest of us than does the editorial board of your paper.

The nation will be fortunate if Souter turns out to be an advocate of judicial restraint. Then, indeed, the healthy and never-ending political competition among interests in our democracy will return to the legislatures, where it belongs, and the minute details of the records and backgrounds of future justices will cease to be a national obsession.

-- Peter J. Wallison