one-sided it falls off my bookshelf."
I found "The
Business of Reflection" (August/02) to be an interesting and well-written
article about Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, but I was disappointed
in the banner caption proclaiming that Justice Stevens is a jurist "without
"judicial activism" has become a dirty word outside the legal
academy's ivory towers, liberals and many in the media now seek, ironically, to
capture the words "activist" and "extremist" to demonize their
opponents, while maintaining that their heroes need not justify the basis for
their own views because they are allegedly moderates, nonideologues with "no
agenda." Many Warren/Burger court precedents are of more recent origin, and
have less basis in the Constitution, than Plessy v. Ferguson when it was
overturned in 1954; they deserve the same amount of deference as that decision
received in Brown v. Board of Education.
do change, but it is intellectually dishonest to imply, as Mr. Siskel does, that
justices who may seek change toward clear consistent standards of constitutional
jurisprudence, who believe that laws should be interpreted based on their plain
text rather than murky and contradictory "legislative history," or who
see states as partners in our federal system of government and not as mere prefectures
of the central government, have an "agenda" while Justice Stevens, who
believes the opposite, does not.
I urge readers
to hold accountable all who would foreclose discourse on important legal issues
by hiding behind a shield of professed nonideology or "moderation."
O. Stern, JD'96