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12:00 AM, Jul 29, 2005
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THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor. Letters will be edited for length and clarity and must include the writer's name, city, and state.

*1*

I agreed with Fred Barnes's assessment. I never expected the president to pick a "true" conservative. Bush has almost always adopted a safe stance. An example of this is McCain-Feingold. It was safe to sign the bill while expecting the high court to cut it down. But that didn't happen. His failure to use the presidential veto, in my mind, betrays a politician who really is not willing to take off his jacket and get into the fight. Consulting with the senators on his choice may appear politically deft but intrinsically weakens the presidency. I think that the conservatives should grill Judge Roberts on his interpretation of the constitution on key social issues. They should get a straightforward answer regarding his feelings on whether the court can use European law when deciding cases. All in all I am not the least bit comfortable with the president's choice.

--Charles E. Umhey Jr.

*2*

Sadly, I have to agree with Fred Barnes. Barnes's thinking on Roe is not far from my own. Roberts, I can just tell, will not have the spine to overturn Roe. This dreadful thought has been slowly dawning on me the whole day. If our suspicions are confirmed, then President Bush will have failed us horribly.

This is my perception of recent events--the Lord knows I hope Barnes and I are wrong.

--Mike Azinger

*3*

William Kristol should give Bush even more credit than he does for the political savvy of this nomination. By nominating a conservative white male with an unimpeachable record, Roberts can be filibustered only on the grounds that he is conservative. This sets the stage well for when Rehnquist steps down. Then Bush can nominate a woman or minority--someone virtually identical to Roberts in temperament and ideology. Having let Roberts in, how will the Democrats oppose a nominee who "looks like" Roberts in every way except that he or she is not a white male?

--Mark Swanson

*4*

The Bork precedent, as Fred Barnes points out, is an important one. But the Souter precedent (and for that matter, the Warren, Brennan, Blackmun, and Stevens precedents, not to mention the O'Connor and Kennedy precedents) should be foremost in the minds of the Bush team. Republican presidents have been burned badly on many nominees. As a practicing lawyer with a strong interest in constitutional Law, I can think of few, if any, corresponding examples on the Democratic side, except, to a much lesser degree, the Byron White precedent.

--John Sepehri

*5*

Stephen Schwartz's suggestions in "Towards a Saudi Constitutional Monarchy" are intended to drive a wedge between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, they should be unpalatable to even the most casual observer. The writer seems to forget that Saudi Arabia is an independent and sovereign nation. Saudi Arabia is the heart of both the Muslim and Arab world, and it derives its respectability and strength not from the alliance with this or that country, but from two sources: the loyalty and love of its people and the respect and affection of its Muslim and Arab brothers and neighbors.

However, we are also appreciative of the good relationship we have with our American friends. Instead of dispensing advice to your secretary of sate on what to say to the Saudi leadership, Schwartz is well advised to listen to what Secretary of State Rice said only a few days ago: "reform is going to be a Saudi-led process and something that is going to reflect the approach and history and culture of that country."

As far as our stand on terrorism is concerned, we do not need advice from anyone. Our actions speak for themselves. And if more is needed it is only appropriate to listen to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, who praised Saudi Arabia's fight against terrorism, declaring that it can't be compared to that of any other country.

--Khalid AlSaeed

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

*6*