California Bar Journal
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A bunch of left-wing ranting about Bush v. Gore

Professor Chemerinsky was my constitutional law professor at USC, and I like and respect him.  However I do not believe he has ever been known to take either a centrist or right-of-center view on any subject.

There is nothing wrong with that, but there is a lot wrong when the Bar Journal gives him a valuable forum (January Opinion) to spout his views on a subject of only tangential interest to most California attorneys, and which has had ample airing in other, more generalist, forums.

When the Bar Journal simply becomes a forum for left-wing political rants, as in the Chemerinsky article, don’t be surprised when those of us with more moderate views take umbrage to our bar dues being used for such a purpose.

Roger J. Buffington

No member dues are used to support the California Bar Journal.

Court’s wounds are Chemerinsky-inflicted

Erwin Chemerinsky’s article condemning Bush v. Gore is nothing more than a highly partisan brief for Gore written by a liberal democratic professor. In fact, all nine members of the court said the Florida Supreme Court was probably wrong, but two said they had the right to be wrong. Seven said the Florida court’s ruling was unconstitutional. Of those seven, two thought there was time to correct the errors, five did not.

The wounds to the U.S. Supreme Court are not self-inflicted. They are inflicted by politically motivated people like Chemerinsky. It is tragic, not to say unforgivable, for a law professor to write such a biased piece with the calculated purpose of damaging the court’s reputation and casting doubt on the outcome of the election.

Leonard Lamensdorf
Santa Barbara

More liberal palaver . . .

Mr. Chemerinsky completely overlooks the fact that the trial court had ruled in favor of Mr. Bush based on existing law (twice), and the Florida Supreme Court had to create new law to overturn the trial court decision. The Florida Supreme Court went out of its way to avoid Florida statutory law and render what was clearly a political opinion designed to insure chaos in the election process. The trial court was correct and so was the U.S. Supreme Court in rendering a decision that restored some certainty to the electoral process.

Alan Dale Daniel

. . . And arrogant, besides

If you are interested in knowing why so many members of the State Bar are so often upset, re-read the article by Chemerinsky. The least you could do when you publish clearly controversial articles is to have, in the same issue, the opinions reflecting the views of both sides of the controversy. In that way, you could claim to be neutral and begin shedding an image that many of us, rightly or wrongly, consider far left and ultra-liberal.

Chemerinsky’s viewpoints in this article are, in my view and, I suspect, in the view of the Supreme Court of the United States, arrogant and wrong-headed. I would defend his right to his viewpoints, but would prefer to see them challenged in the same issue of the “Official Publication of the State Bar,” supposedly reresenting all of us. Martha Barnett’s article was sensible. Hers is the kind of comment that is appropriate in an organ supposed to represent the State Bar in toto.

Jules Darras

The Chemerinsky and Barnett articles appeared on the same Opinion page.

A reckless diatribe

Erwin Chemerinsky’s attack on the motives and integrity of members of the U.S. Supreme Court, with statements such as “five conservative Republican Supreme Court justices handed the election to the Republican candidate,” is unwarranted and reckless, particularly coming from a member of the bar and a professor of law.

In contrast to his charge of judicial impropriety are the facts, among several others, that (1) Florida Chief Justice Wells concluded that his court’s ruling had no foundation in Florida law and would not withstand scrutiny under the U.S. Constitution; (2) seven U.S. Supreme Court justices determined that the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling failed to meet the Constitution’s minimum requirements for equal protection; and (3) the ruling to vacate the Florida Supreme Court’s first related ruling was unanimous. Contrary to Professor Chemerinsky’s charge, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the face of certain media and public criticism, performed its duty in a judicious and honorable manner.

Martha Barnett’s article, “Let the courts do their job,” was right on point and should have had the top billing.

Robert Manning
Newport Beach

A forgettable opinion

Professor Chemerinsky opines that “few decisions have done more to tarnish the court’s image than Bush v. Gore.” I don’t think so.

Public opinion polls already reflect a growing confidence in the decisions in Bush v. Gore. The Supreme Court will survive with its image untarnished long after Professors Chemerinsky and Dershowitz have been forgotten.

Matt Diederich
Santa Clarita