George F. Will parroted the myth that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is "hyper-liberal and frequently reversed" ["Warming Up to Hit Hard," op-ed, July 7].

The 9th Circuit, proportionately, is reversed by the Supreme Court about as often as the other circuits are. Because it covers a large jurisdiction and hears many more cases than the other circuits, it is reversed more often only in absolute numbers, but Mr. Will is being deceptive if he is referring to that.

Furthermore, the "reversal rates" tend to be relatively high -- about three-fourths of all circuit court cases reviewed -- because at least four justices had to consider the cases worthy of consideration. But the number of cases the 9th Circuit decides, including those reviewed plus those not, that are actually reversed by the Supreme Court is less than 1 percent -- hardly a "frequent" occurrence.


Berkeley, Calif.


Regarding George F. Will's July 7 assertion that the country has had only one Virginian, John Tyler, as president after four of the first five were Virginians:

He fails to include William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson, all of whom were born in Virginia.

Being born in Virginia makes one a Virginian for life.


Keswick, Va.