Just a hatchet job

  Dear HCN,

Your article on federal judges and FREE puzzled me. It contained no fresh reporting, so I wonder why you bothered to run it. You could have referred your readers to the original hatchet job in the Washington Post. Or you could have taken a look at what actually goes on at these conferences.

At the last one I attended, Felix Romero of San Luis, Colo., and I gave a presentation on "Communal land rights and the law of usufruct," based on an article from the Chicano-Latino Law Review. Does that sound like a right-wing conspiracy to influence judges supposedly too stupid to distinguish wheat from chaff? I don't think so. Did we "influence" federal judges? Well, two of the Hispanic judges took a strong interest, and they thanked us for calling their attention to the issue. Here's what I would do with your reporter: send him to one of these conferences. Then have him write an article worthy of HCN's high journalistic standards.

Tom Wolf

Westcliffe, Colorado

The publisher replies:

HCN tried to cover the seminars two years ago, when freelance writer Ray Ring asked FREE for permission to attend and report on one of the events. However, John Baden would not allow it.

Ed Marston

High Country News Classifieds