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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, October 27, 2005

Partisan Miers should withdraw nomination to Supreme Court

Harriet Miers should withdraw as the new Supreme Court nominee. American Bar Association Model Rules require that attorneys maintain the dignity of the profession and of the judiciary. Because of the court's controversial action elevating George W. Bush to the presidency in 2000, the court suffers from the stains of partisan politics, something which lifetime appointments and tradition are supposed to elevate it above.

The insertion of the court into partisan matters, instead of allowing the constitutional process to work, demands that this administration be beyond reproach in nominating people to the bench. As recent events have shown, ethical behavior is something that this administration is incapable of conforming to. Because of the administration's failure to abide by ethical codes of conduct it falls to the nominee to uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct, both as a professional attorney and as government employee.

Because Harriet Miers was chosen not because of her legal skills but because of her close relationship with Bush, her nomination and the lingering question of cronyism that will stain the court would only further soil an institution that is struggling to regain its dignity. Because her nomination dishonors the profession and appears improper, the ABA Model Rules that govern Ms. Miers' conduct as an attorney demand that she withdraw herself as the nominee.

Jared Hautamaki
second-year law student

Manufacturers not responsible for use of their products

Katie Paulson's column "Firearm 'protection bill' protects wrong people" confused me. Her argument about the protection of wrong people when it comes to lawsuits against gun manufacturers does not really make sense.

First I am introduced to the fact that legislation has been enacted to the effect that "manufacturers and dealers of firearms (are negated) from facing liability lawsuits." From here, you attempt to provide both sides of an argument, but ultimately come to the conclusion that anyone and anything that deals with the harmful effects of a person's misuse of firearms is responsible.

Think about this for a second; this type of accusation is not based upon logic. It is based upon emotional vendetta-ism that seeks out the easiest responsible party including one that has the most monetary value, translating to the manufacturing company that is not the ultimate responsible party. The ultimate responsibility comes down to the person who misused the firearm.

You state, "How can justice exist when it cannot be sought?" This statement should be the starting idea on criticizing the current judicial system and its incorporation within and of society. To briefly summarize, the concept of legal justice has become ideal. It has become a play on logistics, on conventions and on compromises. A person has to go through "bureaucracy" to achieve any level of satisfaction. Even then, it is squandered away; but that is a topic for another time.

I have a better, paraphrased, quote: Do you choose what is right, or what is easy? It is easy to assume that the responsibility should be placed upon a manufacturer, but that does not take into account the fact that the manufacturer has no control over what a person does with their product.

I will state it again for clarity: A manufacturer makes a product, not the manner in which a consumer will use a product. It is a fallacy to believe that someone else has control over one's own actions, but this is happening when people get clouded in their search for justice by responsibility.

Andrew R. Reimisch
studio art photography senior

Rioting only way to express discontent with oppression

Kara Karlson's recently published columns "A day without an American" and "Sticks, stones beat words in Ohio" have personally offended me. Human beings have been flooding into the southwest U.S. for decades, despite harsh punishments and the "successful" Minutemen project, harsher laws are not going to stop it.

Continued flooding of the border is a systemic problem caused by corporate exploitation of working people. Immigrant workers wouldn't come here if there were no hope of work; but there are jobs to be had, and these individuals can look forward to performing manual labor and receiving a fraction of the compensation "real" people earn. I myself, and I shall assume Ms. Karlson, have never been in a desperate situation in which the only perceivable way to provide for my family would be to break an inconsequential law, but I imagine it would be a pretty easy decision.

A while ago I was present at a Klan rally and shouted at the top of my lungs, "I humbly express my dissenting opinion on the subject of race!" The group stopped marching and we proceeded to have a discussion about racism. Unfortunately for Ms. Karlson (and myself) such an incident could never happen.

Rioting is the only action an unorganized group of people can perform to express dissatisfaction with a situation. The very claim Kara dismisses seems to me to be the most plausible. I'm not sure about her, but I would be very troubled if my city allowed a Klan march.

The reason police officers usually become the target of protesters in riots is because they are the immediate face of oppression protesters see everyday, the Klan and the city who approved the march are the true "oppressors," but may be inaccessible or be innocent bystanders at the time (it's assault to throw a rock at a marcher, but justifiable to throw a rock at a cop who just clubbed your neighbor).

Social movement experts have agreed the emotions and thoughts that lead to riots are very complex, but I guess it's all very simple when black, out of control gangsters are the rioters.

Jason Syracuse
sociology and music sophomore

Seniors unable to graduate don't deserve pity, classes

I'm writing in response to the article in Tuesday's Wildcat about journalism seniors not being able to get classes ("Seniors unable to graduate"). I am currently on track to graduate in four years, to the surprise of my family and most who know me. How is this possible? I did everything that I needed to do to get all my classes. This meant being at the Marshall building at 4:00 in the morning a few weeks ago.

Any journalism student knows the drill by now. You go to the Marshall building in the wee hours of the morning and you put your name on the list. You then go visit Mr. Johnson and he signs you up for your classes. The system is not good, but I can tell you that if you show up at the building at the earliest time in the morning, you will get your classes.

I can guarantee that the students who are not going to graduate on time were not there early, and in my opinion, don't deserve the class or our pity. I wouldn't give up my seat just for them because I did what was needed to assure myself that I would graduate next spring. Simply put, at this point in our lives it's time to take responsibility for ourselves, and not complain when we mess up.

Adam Green
journalism senior

This letter is in response to Phil Davis's letter "Suing gun manufacturers would wreak havoc on legal system."

First off, it should be noted that I fully believe in an individual's Constitutional right to bear arms. I also agree with Mr. Davis in the belief that when someone commits a crime with what he calls a "tool," be it a car, knife, or gun, that the person driving, wielding, or shooting should be held accountable. However, I do find it necessary to point out one serious logical shortcoming of his argument.

Mr. Davis uses the example of a drunk driver running over a family in a crosswalk. He points out that it would be ridiculous to sue Ford in this instance, just as it would be ridiculous to sue Anheuser-Busch. That said, the one thing Mr. Davis misses is that neither cars nor alcohol or, for that matter, knives, baseball bats, etc. were initially conceived for the purpose of killing. The car's primary purpose is transport. The knife exists to cut. Alcohol exists to make a good time better. The baseball bat: Hitting a baseball!

It is only the gun, be it a firearm or rifle, that exists purely to kill, and it does this in a very blunt manner. As I stated earlier, those wielding guns should be held accountable for their actions if said actions are illegal, but to say that gun manufacturers should be categorically let off the hook is a bit of a stretch. Ultimately, what the new law does is pander to yet another right-wing argument that will ultimately leave citizens with one less angle from which to seek justice.

Joseph Jaramillo
computer science senior