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Stevens' effort is anti-democratic

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, November 02, 2003

Senator Stevens has shown once again that he has little respect for our courts of law. This week he pushed through a law that will severely limit the ability of federal courts to rule on timber sales on the Tongass National Forest.

The principle of checks and balances requires that the legislative and judicial branches of government remain independent of each other.

Sen. Stevens' proposed law flies in the face of this democratic principle by directing federal judges to rule on Tongass logging cases within 180 days. This directive is completely unrealistic.

Essentially, it requires courts to prioritize timber challenges above every other kind of lawsuit under the sun, from criminal to civil cases.

The independent authority of our judicial system is essential to democracy as we know it. We all learn this in elementary school, but apparently Sen. Stevens has been in Congress so long that he has forgotten it.

Jeri Rosenthal

Juneau



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