In his op-ed article {"I Know What Racial Quotas Are," Nov. 15}, Gov. L. Douglas Wilder made a good case against racial quotas. Nevertheless, his arguments were somewhat muddled.

Gov. Wilder, who holds a law degree, must surely agree that the accused is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. However, the Civil Rights Act of 1990 violated that premise by asserting that any employer accused of discrimination (whether of a female, minority or non-minority employee) was guilty until proven innocent.

While Gov. Wilder said, "The Civil Rights Act of 1990 does not require quotas," the argument follows that the act would have resulted in a quota system anyway, because employers would establish their own rigid quotas to avoid expensive litigation involving discrimination and reverse discrimination.

Any quota system, no matter how it is disguised, is bound to be unfair to someone. Gov. Wilder, who cited his own experience in coping with a tacit and unfair "quota system" once imposed against blacks in favor of whites, should understand the foregoing argument better than most people. CHARLES F. GIESWEIN Silver Spring

Gov. L. Douglas Wilder denounced President George Bush for vetoing the so-called Civil Rights Bill of 1990 on the basis of quota requirements. The governor said those requirements were not in the bill.

Technically, Gov. Wilder was correct. But pro-litigation was the real problem -- employers want to avoid the time-consuming, expensive horror of being sued, because there are big losses even in winning, and only lawyers benefit.

Actually, legal pressure is a vicious insult to minority people who work hard and well, earning their jobs and promotions. When employers are being pushed by government to hire minorities, minorities can never be certain why they were hired, and other employees harbor the suspicion that it was because of their minority status.

What this country needs is more production with excellence, not more frustrating court battles. Let's call a halt to race battling and get to work improving national and personal economic status the old fashioned way -- by earning it. H. PAUL MURRAY Arlington