Letters from our readers: Judicial activism labels shouldn’t be subjective 

Like a bad penny coming back, ominous forebodings of “judicial activism” swell within the media with every new Supreme Court vacancy. But it seemed that for Examiner columnist Gregory Kane on April 19, a decision is only “judicially activist” when he does not like it.

The Georgetown Public Policy Review Online noted that today’s Roberts court more often declares a law unconstitutional than the Warren court that was supposedly the gold standard for “activism.” Have we already forgotten Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which radically threw out decades of circumspect campaign finance law that evolved under legislative restraint?

Unfortunately, pundits with an agenda too often promote the idea that some judicial activism is more equal than others.

John D. Rosin. San Francisco

Will state repeal CRA?

Thanks to last week’s Examiner series for bringing attention to ACORN and the Greenlining Institute using their race-based extortion tactics to blackmail banks, which then led to the economic meltdown of 2008.

Now Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, has introduced legislation to repeal the Community Reinvestment Act, which played a major role. Can we expect California Republicans to get behind this effort?

Philip Melnick, San Francisco

Detainees were innocent

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to former Republican secretary of state Colin Powell and a 31-year Army veteran, issued a signed statement supporting a lawsuit filed by a Guantanamo detainee. As reported in the Times of London, the lawsuit alleges that former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were fully aware that the majority of the prisoners were innocent men turned over to U.S. forces by Afghan bounty hunters who simply wanted to collect fees of up to $5,000.

Tej Uberoi, Los Altos

Financial regulation needed

The current recession was caused by banks, credit rating agencies, and investment advisers taking a very short-term view of the housing market and devising very complicated financial instruments that most of us could not understand. All these institutions were looking to maximize their short-term profits, leading to excessively high bonuses and salaries for those selling the riskiest investments.

We need to learn from the mistakes made and protect the average investor who really has lost in the current recession. Of course the financial businesses are lobbying Congress to be sure that new regulations are weak, so they can do business as usual. I’m asking Congress to protect us and really regulate to avoid another disaster down the line.

Suzan Syrett, Menlo Park

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