The judicial handling of two cases -- that of Heidi Prescott and the flag burners -- offers an interesting example of inconsistency.
Heidi Prescott goes to jail for 15 days for ''harassment'' of deer hunters in Maryland when she approached them in a vain attempt to convince them that these fearsome beasts were not a serious threat to mankind. Exercising her First Amendment right of free speech was an illegal interference with the rights of the hunters according to the Maryland courts. Unfortunately, the Founding Fathers, so celebrated for their wisdom, did not qualify the right of free speech in the presence of hunters as more learned judges have since done.
Then there is the case of the flag burners whose rights are ''protected'' by the same amendment, because speech is here construed as including ''expression,'' despite the fact that no dictionary defines speech as other than vocal expression. Does the Supreme Court have the right to redefine words? Certainly no such right is given to the court in the Constitution.
If the meanings of words can be bent away at the whim of the courts, then the sanctity of law in general and the Constitution especially have been destroyed. WILLIAM R. MOSES Bethesda
Heidi Prescott is entitled to her opinion on hunting. She has a constitutional right to lobby our elected officials, write letters to the editor and speak out on the issue. She does not, however, have a right to use the First Amendment as a pretext to interfere with a lawful activity of which she happens to disapprove.
Hunting, like getting a good night's sleep, requires peace and quiet. I wonder what Heidi Prescott would think of my First Amendment rights if, instead of writing this letter, I stood outside her bedroom window with a bullhorn at 3 a.m. I bet she would do what those hunters did -- call the cops. HOWARD J. FEZELL Frederick