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Thursday, October 18, 2018
Letters to the Editor, October, 2018
By Letters to the Editor @ 11:17 PM :: 6260 Views

Influence of Law Clerks at SCOTUS

Dear Editor,   October 18, 2018

Something few may know: Law clerks hired by the U.S. Supreme Court heavily influence which cases are granted a Writ of Certiorari by Justices. Fairly recent law school graduates are placed in a common law clerk “Cert Pool.” Each Justice may read filed Petitions; however, the majority relies on the Cert Poolʻs short memoranda, which recommends acceptance or denial of a case.

Former Whitewater independent counsel, Kenneth Star, wrote in a 2006 Minnesota law journal that these Law Clerks are “young and inexperienced,” yet it is their job “to seek out and destroy" what they consider undeserving Petitions. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has warned these Law Clerks to be carefully judicious when disposing of cases.  Today, these Clerks reduce 10,000 filed petitions to approximately 100 (that figure fluctuates but the percentage is always about the same). 

Justice Alito and Justice Gorsuch opted out of this Cert Pool process. Given the others’ heavy reliance on "Cert Pool" recommendations, the Senate should vet SCOTUS Law Clerks if they are concerned about the direction in which Supreme Court decisions are headed.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh served as a Law Clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy, 25 years ago, and that mattered to no one. Justice Kagen, former Dean of Harvard Law School, hired him as a Law Professor. Not a ripple or whisper of protest. Why now? 

The vetting process should be comprehensive and relevant. Law Clerks who are integral to Supreme Court decisions, are not vetted at all for their positions on matters that affect all of us in our daily lives. Until those protesting Kavanaughʻs appointment to the Supreme Court address this lack of accountability on the part of SCOTUS Law Clerks, attacks seem disingenuous and completely political.


Kahala Motoyama

Manoa Valley, Oahu

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1978 Delegate: New ConCon Needed

Dear Editor,   October 12, 2018

I was a delegate to the 1978 con con. I totally support another gathering and see many issues to be addressed including IR&R. The article in the paper has not addressed the issues at all but the sides lining up of pro and con. In a poll taken recently 60% of voters were in favor of one.

To better get a feeling we as former delegates meet sometimes for reunions. Former Governor Waihee Mayor Jaremy Harris and many others started from that forum in 1978 and few politicians elected then ran as they saw a conflict.

We delegates are few now but do like the process to continue.

In 1968 my dad Rep  Ike Sutton was in that con con and as a representative in the legislature did not run for the later one which elected officials stayed out of to a large degree. 

I did as a 24 year old. It was voted for in the general of 1976 to have another gathering.  A special election was held to vote for delegates- two from most legislative districts or about 102 delegates.

One of the remaining issues that did not pass was that of Initiative Referendum and Recall which are available to the counties for citizens to use to enjoy participating in law making. California is better known for its propositions on ballots. Ours are electorate is far from the participation of unelected officials and with such a one party domination of the government here few voices are geared in the public arena of laws passing.

Warner Kimo Sutton

Honolulu, Oahu

Delegate, 1978 Constitutional Convention

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Low voter turnout gives special interests even more power

Dear Editor, October 8, 2018

Hawaii has had the lowest voter turnout in all 50 states!  Various reasons have been given but the real reason is that voters have lost hope or fled the state.  Despite politicians’ promises, it has been decades of the double whammies of low wages and high cost of living.  Today, Hawaii young couples can even remember not only their parents but their grandparents having had to work the now sad standard 3 to 4 jobs between a couple – JUST TO MAKE ENDS MEET. 

Political “solutions” have simply made the problems worse over all.  Most Hawaii politicians campaign that their constituents get a larger slice of the small pie rather than increasing the size of the pie for everybody.

Things will not get better if the trend continues because low voter turnout gives special interests even more power (less voters to manipulate and cheaper to buy politicians).

Hope in the Vote!

Leighton Loo

Mililani, Oahu

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'Shut Up': Why people elected Trump

Dear Editor,   October 6, 2018

Over the past weeks we have watched a truly shameful exercise of partisan politics as an outstanding judge, legal scholar, husband, father and patriot had his name dragged through the mud, his family actually threatened with violence, his record be-smudged...and all in the name, not of justice or fairness, but of a blatant partisan attempt to protect one small but very financial valuable support group — pro-abortion Planned Parenthood.

Will Judge Kavanaugh ever rule on the Constitutionality of Roe v Wade? Who knows. Will he, as he has proven throughout a long and extremely distinguished judicial career, rule with wisdom, compassion, respect for people, the law and the Constitution? Yes. Will he hold to the most basic principle of American justice — one he was not accorded by our own Senator — that one is innocent until proven guilty? Absolutely. This man is among the most qualified we have ever had to consider for the Supreme Court. And we have reduced the nomination and confirmation process to an embarrassing circus of smears, innuendos, political grandstanding and downright hateful attacks.

The Democrat Leader of the Senate announced he would oppose President Trump’s nominee regardless of who it was before they were even announced! That is partisanship at its worse. That is why so many people believe Washington is broken, that The Swamp needs to be drained. That attitude and behavior is, in fact, exactly why the people elected Donald Trump President.

Hawaii’s legislators share a large part of the blame. Is telling men, all men, that they have to ‘shut up’ an example of the Aloha Spirit? Is denouncing an FBI investigation that your party demanded, the 7th such investigation of Brett Kavanaugh, an honest, mature reaction when you don’t like the findings? Of course not. Hawaii should be an example of Aloha. Hawaii’s legislators should be models to the rest of the country, the rest of the world, in civility, kindness, courtesy — the Hawaiian Way — the Aloha Spirit.

I am running for the United States Congress, not the Senate. I will not be in a position to vote on a Supreme Court nominee. But I offer my solemn promise to the people of Hawaii that I will not embarrass my state, not embarrass the Hawaiian people. Not embarrass the Aloha Spirit. It’s time Hawaii showed the world, and the rest of America, the Hawaiian Way.


Cam Cavasso, Republican Candidate for US Congress, CD1

Honolulu, Oahu

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Dear Editor,  October 1 2018

This past weeks’ public lynching of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, by demented Democrat Senate Judicial Committee members, including Hawaii’s own “Crazy” Mazie Hirono, went beyond the pale in destroying not only what was left of comity in the U.S. Senate, but attempting to destroy an innocent public servant and his family.

Now, before Hawaii’s progressive left collectively snort their morning’s latte out of their nostrils, let me be very clear; I believe this progressive insistence on espousing a “toxic femininity” as official American policy is destroying our country and our young men. Since when is any American automatically guilty of sexual harassment based upon vague recollections that devolve into obviously unprovable, 36-year-old allegations, denied by all people claimed present by the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford? What exactly do you expect a reasonable person to conclude from her testimony?

Despite senator Diane Feinstein’s blatant 11th hour political stunt in withholding the Ford accusation letter from the Committee, prior to Judge Kavanagh’s 30-hours of hearings, the Republican Chairman of the Senate Judicial Committee, Senator Grassley, bent over backwards to allow the charges by Mrs. Ford to be heard. Clearly, Mrs. Ford’s testimony was ultimately unable to prove her contentions as credible even before Judge Kavanaugh could so eruditely refute them in his rebuttal. Mrs. Ford was unable to testify credibly as to the when, the where or to the whom of her accusations against Judge Kavanagh. Mrs. Ford unequivocally failed to meet any reasonable burden of proof regarding her allegations. American jurisprudence is based upon the common-sense guiding principle of innocence until PROVEN guilty, NOT guilt automatically proven by mere accusation. Let us not forget the fact that Judge Kavanagh passed 6 full FBI clearances in his long history of public service. Not a scintilla of this type of behavior has ever been uncovered. Progressive Democrats are now advocating turning the Constitution on its head just to advance their hate-filled political agenda, an outgrowth of losing the 2016 Presidential election.

Just because a woman makes a decade’s old allegation of sexual misconduct against someone, that does not mean those accusations are automatically credible. I do not know the truth of the Ford allegations, but I am neither Solomon nor God, and neither are the mad Democrat progressive Senators who condemn him. Without corroborative evidence Judge Kavanagh must be presumed innocent. Hating men and presuming guilt due to Judge Kavanaugh’s gender is both dystopian and horrific in its implications for American justice and society at large. “Crazy” Mazie Hirono’s advocating guilt by accusation and gender, her “toxic femininity”, is more in keeping with an ancient Grecian Priestess of the cult of Isis rather than a modern American judicial principle worthy of emulation.

Watching as Democrat Senator’s and their media propagandists dig up and then regurgitate spurious, salacious, unprovable and politically motivated allegations against a decent man, Judge Kavanaugh, is a thoroughly teachable moment for Hawaii’s youth and any honest observer. Loony left progressives in the Democrat Party have shown themselves to be mad, power hungry, hateful beings who would destroy anyone who has the temerity to espouse traditional, conservative, Christian beliefs simply because they contradict their sick personal progressive philosophies, and their dying political power base. Their treatment of Judge Kavanagh was more in keeping with a 60’s era Soviet show-trial than an American Congressional hearing.

In my youth I was a neighbor of an older couple who had fled Hitler’s Nazi Germany right after Kristallnacht. Nearly 50 years later, their warning to me, rings true in this time. They could not believe how their country could turn towards a violent, evil philosophy seemingly out of the blue, but it did. Their warning to me was as clear as it was chilling. Do not believe that America is immune from that type of evil, it can happen here, and in a relative instant. That progressive Democrats today would hasten this evil in America is indeed a chilling development, one that behooves us to teach our children to recognize the hate and evil endemic in progressive political philosophy.

Mahalo & May God Bless Hawaii & America,

Alfred P. Sarmento

Kekaha, Kaua’i


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