From a letter by Thomas W. Mayer, president of the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police, to the National Sheriffs' Association:

I am writing on behalf of the more than 4,500 member of the Missouri State Fraternal Order of Police to express my great consternation at your organization's recent opposition to the confirmation of Justice Ronnie White to the federal bench, an opposition which I sincerely hope was not simply politically motivated.

[Justice White] on the death penalty has been far more supportive of the rights of victims than of the rights of criminals. While in fact voting 17 times for death penalty reversals, he has voted to do so in far fewer instances than the other justices on the court. . . .

The Fraternal Order of Police is no stranger to fighting to see that justice is served for slain law enforcement officers and their families. . . . [T]he FOP led the fight against President Clinton's clemency of 16 convicted Puerto Rican terrorists responsible for a wave of bombing attacks on U.S. soil and the wounding of three New York City police officers.

Unfortunately, however, nothing can undo the needless injury which has been inflicted on the reputation of Justice White, and our nation has been deprived of an individual who surely would have proven to be an asset to the federal judiciary.

On behalf of the membership of the Fraternal Order of Police, I would encourage you to exercise greater judgement in future battles of this sort. It is a great disservice to the members of your organization, and the nation as a whole, to choose to do otherwise.