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Mailbag:

‘Liberals’ aren’t the ones dismantling Constitution

October 03, 2007

In response to Jim Righeimer's column ("UCI's rehiring ensures liberal slant," Sept. 29), I must counter his claim that "liberals" like Chemerinsky "believe that the Constitution has to be reinterpreted as time goes on."

If anything, "liberals" have been fighting to restore many basic rights, guaranteed under the Constitution.

The abolition of habeas corpus, the wiretapping of United States citizens without a warrant and many other abuses of power have shredded the very fabric of our democracy.

The new definition and perspective of a liberal are akin to the "Commie" tag pinned on suspected "enemies of the U.S." under the witch hunt that was the McCarthy era. That era is when the words "under God" were added to the Pledge of Allegiance on June 7, 1954. A year later, they were added to our coin and currency. Righeimer mentions Chemerinsky's opposition to these additions.

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Yes, the Constitution is being dismantled, all right. It is being reinvented on a daily basis. But this is not coming from the "liberals."

KARIN W. AHLF

Costa Mesa

Leave resentment in the dust, focus on future

It was top news nationally. Legal scholars, liberal and conservative, wrote to express dismay that Erwin Chemerinsky – a liberal — had been sacked a week after being hired as dean of the new UC Irvine law school.

Chemerinsky had already begun to line up outstanding attorneys for his future staff, and his reputation drew liberal, moderate and conservative law teachers looking forward to helping set up the first new California public law school in 40 years. His criterion, as his defenders pointed out, was excellence, not political leanings.

The dust-up ended with Chemerinsky rehired, a black eye for the man who had hired, fired, and rehired him.

For Jim Righeimer, however ("UCI's rehiring ensures liberal slant," Sept. 29), conservatives' defense of Chemerinsky hits another nerve.

We're treated to a resentful tirade about how highly educated people, including many lawyers, try to convince "those of us less educated proletariat" that such a person might not make a difference in what kind of lawyers the school will turn out.

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