Oyez! Draw near and give attention. Renowned constitutional expert Tribe has written a timely and effective brief in support of our third branch of government and the urgency of making our systems of checks and balances work effectively. The Supreme Court is an elderly one and, nature the way it is, several places on its bench will naturally soon become vacant. It's up to the President to nominate members of the high court, of course, but it's also up to the Senate to take an active part in the process by advising and consenting to the candidates offered by the chief executive. That's a serious duty, Tribe points out. The Justices of the Supreme Court affect our lives in profound ways, ways that go to the very heart of national philosophy. From bearing children to bearing arms, the honorable Court has its say. How did it come about, for example, that it is the law of the land that a man, convicted of no crime at all, may be denied the opportunity to hold his newborn child? Why is it that the Court has determined that a life sentence may be mandated for three nonviolent property crimes totaling $230? If you believe, because the Court is an ongoing institution, that the change of a member or two makes little difference, check with lawyer Tribe. If you think strict constructionism is a clear-cut matter, that Presidents have been surprised by their choices, or that ""advise and consent"" means giving the President his way, read this clearly written text. Of course, the author, a noted Harvard law professor, has his admitted bias but he is careful to document and prove his contentions, including the fact that not all Supreme Court members have been first-rate legal minds. (He has particular distaste for the fustian of Mr. Justice Rehnquist, it seems.) A knowledge of history and the workings of the great charter of the Constitution reveal more patriotism than all the bombast of Rambo-jingoism now upon us. You have the right to remain silent, but let's hope the debate Tribe seeks does take place. A valuable offering.