A Letter to the Editor
(Published in the San Francisco Chronicle)

Laura X

Thank you for having the good sense to let Judge Wachtler speak about what he learned in prison. His plea for understanding the humanity of the people he met there comes from his own humanity which you let shine through.

Judge Wachtler wrote several of history's most important victims' rights court opinions. One was the model for how other men in power should behave towards women's basic human rights. It was a beacon light that led our way state by state, and finally to the UN Official Conference on Women where all 185 male majority governments voted in 1995 to follow his lead in abolishing the marital privilege to rape one's wife.

Combining his well-known sense of fairness and decency with ancient and current Jewish law granting wives the absolute right to consent to every sexual act, and grounding his decision on each American's birthright of equality, he struck down the marital rape exemption as unconstitutional denial of equal protection in 1984.

In the 1990's when he was mentally ill, he badly let down those women and other oppressed people whom he had always defended.

We need for this country to let him get back to normal because his is truly a gift that can keep on giving.

National Clearinghouse on Marital and Date Rape
Excerpt from "King of the Mountain" by John Caher