Endorsement Concerns

by Thomas Charles White | 11/6/02 6:00am

To the Editor:

I'm concerned about The Dartmouth Editorial Board's Nov. 5 endorsement of Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. In defense of your endorsement you write, "She has been vocal in her support for a woman's right to choose while Republican opponent Rep. John Sununu has hedged, claiming that Roe v. Wade is not a legislative issue." I will leave untouched the substantive issue of whether or not a woman has the right to choose. What concerns me is the fact that you advocate implicitly the election of senators based primarily upon whether or not they will confirm judges that support a particular Supreme Court decision. This seems decidedly odd.

You are critical of Rep. Sununu's position that Roe v. Wade is not a legislative issue because he recognizes that it is a matter for the courts. Yet you support a candidate primarily because she supports the decision that removed the issue from the legislative sphere in the first place!

I believe we are at a critical period in the politics of this nation. The issue of abortion continues to be at the forefront of national debate. At the point where the election of senators is simply a proxy for the election of Supreme Court justices, the ideal of a judiciary that is truly independent is a distant memory. Wasn't this whole problem supposed to be solved 30 years ago?