Pubdate: Mon, 01 Apr 2002
Source: Las Vegas Sun (NV)
Copyright: 2002 Las Vegas Sun, Inc
Author: Maurice Murphy
Alert: It Is Not OK To Evict Granny


The U.S. Supreme Court decision approving evictions based on anyone in a 
public housing unit using a "controlled substance' is a judicial mistake 
well analyzed in the Sun editorial, "Zero tolerance for zero tolerance." 
The internal politics behind rulings by the high court are skewed by the 
personal philosophies and experience of the judges, which are indirectly 
and sometimes not at all related to the Constitution.

Justices have life tenure, a mistake, as that saddles the country with the 
biases of incumbents for their lifetimes regardless of advancing age and 
even senility. Unfortunately, rulings of the court are set in concrete and 
are respected in future rulings even though recognized as seriously flawed.

There is little hope of reversing a badly flawed decision by the high court.

Such decisions ought to stimulate a movement to limit tenure to a 
reasonable time such as 15 years.

It was apparent long ago that this change in the court's charter was 
overdue in the interest of the court and, above all, that of the country. 
What does it take to initiate a reform so badly needed?

The media are now distracted by war and national security that are taking 
precedence over everything else no matter how urgent.

In Las Vegas, the media's occupation and preoccupation with the looming 
threat of Yucca Mountain makes it difficult to get worked up about tenure 
of Supreme Court justices unless that would have a direct relation with 
this problem that is both local and national.

MAURICE F. MURPHY Beltsville, Md.
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