Douglas Ginsburg. And outspoken busing foe Lino Graglia of the University of Texas Law School saw his nomination to the Fifth Circuit bite the dust after the ABA found him “not qualified” and his extremist views became widely known. But, by and large, Reagan has molded the judiciary to his liking. One need only consider Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Daniel Manion \(whose confirmation was barely won by the deceptive Easterbrook, and Richard Posner to understand how few and far between those sweet victories occurred. Not to mention William Rehnquist as Chief Justice and the selection of 32-year-old Sid Fitzwater of Dallas, who was widely accused of posting inaccurate and probably intimidating .signs in three minority precincts during a 1982 election. This was one of the notorious “ballot security” programs that the Texas GOP aims at black and Hispanic polling places. Although it is Presidential choices for the Supreme Court that attract the greatest attention, Schwartz, who teaches law at American University, observes that the greatest danger to civil liberties occurs in lower-level federal courts. Trial judges handle some 300,000 cases annually; and appellate tribunals decide 18,000 cases, of which the high court only reviews 100 to 150. The philosophies and voting records of federal judges are not purely partisan issues. Republican-appointees Earl Warren, Harry Blackmun, William Brennan, and Frank Johnson have done more for civil rights than many Democratic appointees. However, until the “Reagan Revolution,” the federal judiciary viewed itself as the protector of individual rights and as a nonintervenor in economic regulation. Now, however, the Reagan judges have altered both perspectives: it is significantly more difficult to vindicate civil liberties; and the courts feel free to evaluate economic theories, even to the extent of using economic models to weigh people’s rights. Herman Schwartz has written an intriguing and detailed account of the Reagan judicial appointments. Packing the Courts is an informed work written by a knowledgeable insider. Its message, however, is quite discouraging. Ronald Reagan has made his mark on the federal bench and cast a shadow over civil liberties litigation that will extend well into the next century. DIALOGUE Continued from Page 2 the General Election in November with a Republican landslide. In spite of local Democratic politicians, Jesse got a lot of votes. And, I suspect he would have received many more, except that early in the primaries and late in the primaries he was thought not to have a chance. We cannot change the fact that during the first few primaries nobody thought Jesse could win. But had the local Democrats kept their cool when he started winning, I think he would have beat the pants off Dukakis. I, for one, would have rather gone down with Jesse in a Republican landslide than lose by just a few votes with the Duke. Look what the Barry Goldwater landslide loss in 1964 did for the conservatives a few years CORRECTION Errata concerning our report last issue on Democracy in the Computer Age: The second sentence after the heading, “Struggle for Control,” on page 10, should have read: “Major investors began to take an interest [in Cronus Industries, Inc.] during the first half of 1987, and that spring Cronus offered to buy back almost two million dollars’ worth of its outstanding warrants.” The foundation which funded Roy Saltman’s new study on the integrity of computerized elections and related activities was the Markle Foundation of Washington, D.C. Peter Vogel, one of the three examiners of computerized voting systems appointed by the Texas Secretary of State, threatened to sue Dallas election officials in the circumstances recited on page 21. later. They were able to elect Ronald Reagan, who is much farther to the right than Barry Goldwater ever thought about being. It seems to make sense that if Democrats stayed neutral in the primaries, as far as making endorsements, we would come up with the candidate best able to draw votes. That’s what winning is all about. Then, the endorsements, if made between the convention and the general election, would push him or her over the top. Bill Fulcher Brownsville Doltish Anarchism I thought that the anarchistic new left insanity was passe. Now I see in the Observer, of all places, an article by Tom McClellan attacking liberalism as “the most devious and pernicious form of racism imaginable” \(TO, McClellan actually prefer Senator Bilbo to liberal Senator Humphrey? Justice Rehnquist to liberal Justice Warren? Governor Faubus to Governor Dukakis? Does he really think that conservative presidents like Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan did more for racial justice than did liberal presidents like Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy? Does he truly believe that George McGovern was a more “pernicious” racist than George Wallace, who sanctioned the use of mounted police, billy clubs, cattle prods, fire hoses, and snarling dogs to keep blacks in their place? Would the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 have become law without the long, passionate struggle of liberals like Walter that late convert to liberalism, at least in racial matters, Lyndon B. Johnson. McClellan thinks the word “disadvantaged” expresses a disdainful attitude on the part of liberals toward black people. But there is nothing “pernicious” about that word. It simply means that blacks have been denied by an unjust society those advantages that most whites take for granted. He also doesn’t like the phrase “racial minority.” Why? There is nothing insulting about this phrase. What would McClellan substitute for it? By the way, for McClellan’s information, I haven’t heard a liberal use the term “men and women of color” since the 1940s, when blacks themselves often used it. McClellan quotes Martin Luther King to the effect that he had “almost reached the . . . conclusion that the Negro’s greatest stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate.” McClellan does not seem to understand language in the context of history. The term “white moderate[s]” did not refer to liberals, but it did refer to those “white moderate[s]” of the 1960s who expressed guarded sympathy for the plight of the “Nigra” but who felt that, after all, law and order were necessary, even at the expense of justice. The liberals that I knew during those confused times spoke up and acted for King’s cause, sometimes at considerable personal risk. McClellan quotes from Jack Kerouac as proof of liberal sentimentality and muddleheadedness. But Kerouac was a member of the beat movement; he was a romantic of the 1960s. He certainly had nothing to say about liberal politics or liberal social philosophy. He believed that the solution to all social problems was to “drop out.” In short he was a simple-minded anarchist, like McClellan himself. Continued on next page THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.