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Letters to the editor – Sunday (7-5-09)

Law vs. judicial activism
Should judges observe and apply the rule of law or should their main concerns be about fairness and activism?
Our system of jurisprudence relies upon case law to render current decisions based upon the past decisions. This sometimes has the effect of rewriting law incrementally, where each successive law is subtly changed. Over time the original intent of a law is lost in a supermarket of interpretations from which judges may pick and choose depending on the outcome they desire. By choosing and enhancing a particular thread of thought judges “make policy.”
It is impossible to write a code that covers every possibility. It is tempting for judges to follow their hearts rather than the law, to bend and rewrite policy to correct perceived injustices. This can lead to flawed decisions and judicial anarchy as judges rule based on feelings, presuppositions, and personal prejudices. If a law is flawed and justice denied, it is up to Congress, elected and accountable, to alter or revoke the law and restore justice. This is a slow process to be sure, but creating and enacting new law should never be hastily undertaken.
The Constitution is not a “living document” but the foundation of the world’s greatest nation. The final arbitrator in all the profusion and confusion of law is the Supreme Court. The justices are supposed to look back at the framework of this Constitution to ensure the path of individual liberty remains intact, that it has not been gradually eroded, leading us into governmental tyranny.
If Supreme Court nominees do not apply the principles of the Constitution but instead uses their feelings and “cultural” experiences to judge cases, then individual freedom will eventually be lost as the few rule the many, and government serves itself rather than the populace.
ó Dan Farris
Rockwell
Who shall Democrats tax?
With much hand-wringing and regret, Rep. Lorene Coates has decided that we constituents should pony up more of our income to pay for all the programs that were added in the days when there was a tax surplus ó rather than having saved that surplus for more lean times.
But, sadly, just look at who Rep. Coates will probably want to tax. There is a Democrat proposal in the General Assembly to levy a sales tax on the service of workers, such as barbers, hair dressers, lawn care workers, plumbers and electricians. But guess which service providers they would vote to exempt ó lawyers.
When you compare the hourly rates of all these service providers, it would seem there is much more to be gained from a sales tax on legal fees. But wait, a portion of those legal fees go to campaign donations ó could that possibly have anything to do with this?
As always, the Democrat leaders in the General Assembly will help Rep. Coates with her decision.
ó Ed Tompkins
Salisbury

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