Charles Krauthammer said [op-ed, Oct. 7] that liberals have turned the Supreme Court "into an instrument of radical social change" and cited litigation involving school prayer, abortion and the death penalty.
But Krauthammer ignored a line of now well-accepted decisions relating to freedoms that the Supreme Court held to be guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, cases such as: Brown v. Board of Education (school desegregation), Mapp v. Ohio (unreasonable searches and seizures), Miranda v. Arizona (confessions), Gideon v. Wainwright (an accused's right to an attorney).
-- Ray L. Hanna
Charles Krauthammer said that Woodrow Wilson was "the most intellectually accomplished president of the 20th century and also the worst."
The disgraced Richard Nixon is at least a finalist for the latter, but the distinction actually belongs to Warren G. Harding, whose tenure (1921-23) was rampant with corruption and scandals, with the main contributors being Attorney General Harry Daugherty, Interior Secretary Albert Fall (of Teapot Dome infamy), and Veterans Bureau Director Charles Forbes.
Although Harding may have been honest, he can be held accountable for not having exercised a tighter rein on his cronies. Krauthammer needs to fine-tune his knowledge of U.S. history.
-- Thomas E. Powers
Eugene Robinson [op-ed, Oct. 11] said that Harriet Miers is "no David Souter" and that he expects her to quickly sign up with "the Scalia-Thomas fringe." He also said that "Miers is no O'Connor," suggesting that Sandra Day O'Connor is his model of judicial superiority.
"Fringe?" Are Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas "fringe" because, like most Americans, they oppose abortion without limits? Are they "fringe" because they agree with a majority of Americans who find it wrong that government can steal -- or "take," in legal parlance -- one person's private property to give to another simply because it will be put to a different use?
Both of these issues disproportionately and negatively affect black Americans, clearly putting Robinson on the fringe.
-- Royal S. Dellinger