The Nov. 1 front-page story "Alito Leans Right Where O'Connor Swung Left" said, "On some of the most contentious issues that came before the high court, [Judge Samuel A.] Alito has been to the right of the centrist swing voter he would replace."

Judge Alito is not a carbon copy of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, nor should he have to be to be confirmed. Americans elected a conservative president last year, and it is that president's prerogative to nominate judges to the federal bench -- not the prerogative of the National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice America, MoveOn.org. or the NAACP.

Being a conservative and holding a traditionalist's approach to interpreting the Constitution does not disqualify one from serving on the Supreme Court. And being a conservative does not mean that one rules from the fringe.

If Judge Alito was fit to sit on a federal appellate court, why would he suddenly be "unworthy" of the Supreme Court? Other than, of course, the issue of Roe v. Wade?

CHRISTINE GOLDEN

Toledo

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I believe many women greatly anticipated the nomination of a qualified female nominee to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. What we got was an intelligent but unqualified female nomination in Harriet Miers.

Since Ms. Miers's withdrawal was followed swiftly by the nomination of a very conservative male, I wonder if she was put forth simply to appease women and was never meant to be confirmed. Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. is obviously much more qualified for the high court and also is much more outspoken on traditional right-wing topics. But the federal courts have 222 sitting female judges. Couldn't the White House have found one female candidate who would uphold the conservative view of the Republican Party?

Now the population of this nation that is almost 51 percent female will have to look to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for representation on matters that will affect the lives of countless women for decades.

TRACEY FRISOLI

Centreville

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Now that President Bush's nomination of Judge Samuel Alito has made conservative America one big happy family again, the points Colbert I. King raised in his Oct. 29 op-ed column, " 'Judicial Activism' to Be Thankful For," should be put to the judge loudly and repeatedly.

The Supreme Court decisions Mr. King listed were unquestionably "judicial activism" by conservative standards. Would Judge Alito and other conservatives have voted to keep Rosa Parks at the back of the bus? Would they have voted to deny legal representation to people accused of crimes who couldn't afford an attorney?

Funny how it's "judicial activism" only when your side loses the case.

LARRY JOHNSON

Herndon