John D. Shaw writes that it would “brighten [his] day” to learn that he
is wrong in assuming that conservative lawyers only stand up for the
property rights of the well-to-do, and never for the “little guy” liberals
pretend to care about (Soundoff, Nov. 2010).
I’m sure Mr. Shaw’s day will be brightened indeed to learn that the
cause of Susette Kelo, a New London, Conn., woman of modest means
(especially by comparsion to Pfizer!) was widely championed
by conservative and libertarian lawyers at the time. Mr. Shaw’s day may
get brighter still upon being reminded that the dissenting opinion in
Kelo v. New London, which would have preserved Ms. Kelo’s property
rights against Pfizer’s infamous land grab, was authored by Arizona’s
own Sandra Day O’Connor, and joined by all three of the conservative
Justices then on the court.
Of course, every silver lining does have a cloud, and however
bright Justice O’Connor and the three conservatives may have made Mr.
Shaw’s day, that day is darkened by the fact that all four of the liberals
on the court sided with Pfizer. Granted, those four wouldn’t have constituted a majority, so one moderate, Justice Kennedy, is also to blame.
Kennedy is really the exception that proves the rule, however, as his
place on the court is largely the handiwork of liberals. If Senate liberals
had voted to confirm Robert Bork rather than to turn his name into a
verb, Anthony Kennedy would still be an obscure law professor no one
has heard of, Kelo would have gone 5–4 the other way, and Susette
Kelo would now be living in that same home on that same land she
owned before. Land which, I might add, is now part of a big empty lot
neither she, Pfizer, nor anyone else can use.
Nevertheless, I’m sure Mr. Shaw will find some way to blame this
whole debacle on conservatives. Liberals always do.
—Jeff Bishop, Winston-Salem, N.C.
VETERANS AND THEIR COURTS
Bravo to ARIZONA ATTORNEY for publishing the excellent article on the
plight of returning vets (“Service Repaid: Homeland Justice for
Veterans,” Nov. 2010); bravo to the Phoenix School of Law for opening a Veteran Law Clinic; and bravo to all the folks working long and
hard to establish a
Veterans Court in
Here is a brief
update on what is
going on in Tucson.
Tucson opened its
Veterans Court about
a year ago, with City
Michael Pollard pre-
down on their luck, at
the end of their rope,
have the option of a
six-month program at
our local VA. If they
it, charges are dis-
missed. At the VA
they are assigned a case manager, and a pro-
gram is designed to meet their needs. There
are counseling programs for PTSD, anger
management, substance abuse and domes-
tic violence as well as employment oppor-
tunities. Most immediately, there is a clean
bed and a hot meal. Thus far, slightly over
100 vets have taken the option, and about
25 have graduated. Lives have been