The opinion-page columns "Politics Waters Down the Supreme Court" and "Thomas, Hill, and the Culture War," both Oct. 22, are right on target regarding the political cloud overhanging a supposedly apolitical institution and the ever-widening cultural divide in America.However, let's be honest about the real issue in the public grilling of Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill. Beyond resistance to the appointment of a conservative to the court and the clash of two ideologies lies the terror over the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade. Frightened and angry, powerful women's groups stopped at nothing to derail a nominee tight-lipped on the abortion question. Pro-choice stalwarts were behind the leak, Hill's reluctant decision to "go public," the embarrassing political charade, and the nightmare suffered by both accuser and accused. As we witnessed, their strategy not only backfired but once again proved the following: The abortion issue is an unsolvable political time bomb that belongs outside the domain of the Supreme Court. As long as it remains within the domain of the court, we draw nearer to the bomb's explosion while destroying any chance of bridging a worsening national rift. Mary Ann Noyer, St. Louis
The column on politics and the Supreme Court is disappointing. After correctly pointing out that Prof. Anita Hill's charges of sexual harassment against Judge Clarence Thomas would have been thrown out of court because the statute of limitations had been exceeded, the writer pleads for fairness toward the defendant. His brand of fairness, within the statute of limitations and beyond, is to demand proof when, short of confession by the culprit, there can be none. What about fairness toward the victim? Or, is that too quaint of an idea? Robert W. Allardyce, Pittsfield, Mass.