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Evans a liberal Republican

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Dear HCN,

Andy Stahl writes that William Dwyer was nominated for the federal bench "by liberal Democrat Dan Evans and conservative Republican Slade Gorton" (HCN, 3/4/02: 'His courtroom was a classroom'). Actually, Evans is also a Republican. Stahl is probably confused because, in 1985, a liberal Republican like Evans would be more liberal than most Democrats today. Or perhaps Stahl has never heard the odd expression, "liberal Republican"?

Stahl also errs in saying that Dwyer's appointment was "surely one of the few matters on which they agreed." As Washington state's Republican governor and attorney general in the '60s and '70s, the two agreed on many environmental issues, including support of the state's bottle-deposit initiative in 1970.

Whatever his problems with endangered liberal species, Stahl's assessment of Dwyer is right on target. William Dwyer was one of the most inspiring and brilliant judges in our state's history.

Bob Keller
Bellingham, Washington

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