The author of the opinion-page column "Background and Ability Qualify Thomas for Court," Sept. 12, states that Judge Clarence Thomas's judicial fitness should not be determined by his philosophies on a few key issues (such as abortion or affirmative action) but "by his independence, integrity, ability, and life experience."Yet the author then goes on to cite Thomas's rulings and opinions regarding criminal law, business cases, and civil rights as "the best measure of [his] judicial fitness." Strangely, the author seems satisfied with judging Thomas by his judicial record, providing that his opponents not do the same thing. Michelle R. Boyd, Hampton, Va. Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.