While it isn't surprising that President Bush didn't nominate a woman for the Supreme Court [front page, July 20], it is extremely disappointing. The kinds of decisions that the Supreme Court rules on affect the female half of the population at least indirectly and sometimes have a direct, even exclusive impact.

Having just one woman on the court means that a woman's perspective -- historical, emotional and intellectual -- is worth only one-ninth of any court consideration.

MITCHELLE STEPHENSON

Edgewater

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Appellate Judge John G. Roberts Jr., nominated by President Bush for the Supreme Court on Tuesday, represents a clear and present danger to the health and rights of women. His views on abortion decisions are clear. Although he has stated that Roe v. Wade is the "settled law of the land," this does not prevent him from changing the "law of the land" once he is on the Supreme Court. There is every indication that he would do exactly that, joined by what has been the slim minority opposed to women's rights.

This heated debate, with one side fighting to impose government control over family planning and the other side working to reserve family decisions for the woman, could easily take us back to the dark ages of back-alley abortions. The Constitution, which grants certain powers to the government and reserves all others to the people, does not grant to the government the right to control family planning.

I hope that the Senate will take a strong stand opposing Judge Roberts's nomination and take every opportunity to vote or filibuster to save women's rights.

DWIGHT S. BRASS

Edgerton, Wis.

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I am a liberal, and I know I will deplore a good number of the Supreme Court opinions John G. Roberts Jr. authors. But I think he is eminently qualified for the position and should be confirmed nonetheless.

Americans knew in the 2004 presidential election that Supreme Court nominations would play a big role in the near term. The public reelected George W. Bush despite a clear understanding of his particular philosophy about constitutional interpretation and "legislating from the bench" -- even if that negative characteristic actually applies equally to conservative and liberal judges. The public will -- and should have to -- live with the choice that Mr. Bush has made.

Intellect and qualification should always be the prime concerns in selecting these lifetime appointees. In Judge Roberts, Mr. Bush appears to have gone above and beyond those standards. The fact that Roberts is crafted "in the mold of [Justices] Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas" is our own fault.

JOSH GOLDBERG

Chicago

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"The President's Choice" [editorial, July 20] justly outlines the career of John G. Roberts Jr. as a hugely successful corporate lawyer and governmental advocate for corporate freedom from regulation, only to draw the astonishing conclusion that "Judge Roberts's law practice was not ideologically driven."

The Post's failure to recognize that a life dedicated to extending and defending the freedom to accumulate wealth over all other social values is "ideologically driven" is a fit reminder that an ideology may be understood precisely as a set of ideas and assumptions that have become so transparent as to be mistaken for the state of nature.

MARSHALL GROSSMAN

Kensington

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The July 2 front-page story "Nomination Could Be Defining Moment for Bush" said that the "Republican Party . . . has seized control of the executive and legislative branches of government. . . ."

I guess that's one way to describe an election when one doesn't like the result.

MARK STAMM

Potomac

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I think that every mother can relate to the July 20 picture of the children of Judge John G. Roberts Jr.

While President Bush and Judge Roberts seem totally oblivious to what is going on, the judge's wife, Jane, and their daughter, Josephine, are looking on in shock and embarrassment as their son, John, acts up in front of the camera.

SHEILA CHAMPION

Fairfax

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On July 8, 1981, at the time Sandra Day O'Connor was nominated to the Supreme Court, The Post's editorial "The Nomination of Mrs. O'Connor" stated the following: "Those who have known Judge O'Connor work over the years describe her as a conservative but not reactionary Republican and believe she is more likely to end up closer to the philosophical position of Chief Justice [Warren E.] Burger than to that of the other Arizonan on the court, Justice [William H.] Rehnquist. If that is so, the change on the court from Justice [Potter] Stewart to Justice O'Connor may not alter its direction substantially."

Perhaps we will be able to say the same thing about Judge Roberts.

THOMAS B. HUFF

Manassas

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The July 5 news story "Fall Cases on Hot-Button Issues May Hinge on the New Justice" was a prime example of media coverage that distorts public perceptions about the role of our federal judiciary.

Court cases involving hotly debated social issues such as abortion rights, physician-assisted suicide and gay rights are important and should be reported. But the overwhelming majority of cases heard by federal judges -- including Supreme Court justices -- have far more effect on economic growth and job creation than they do on social behaviors or civil rights.

A new Supreme Court justice eventually may hear hundreds of commercial cases that could profoundly affect the competitiveness of U.S. companies. These cases may not be as titillating as the social cases, but they arguably will be far more important to the lives of working men and women. The media would serve the nation well by making this clear.

KIRK LIDDELL

Lancaster, Pa.