When our governor criticized state university law school students for backing the fight against pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, one knew the fix was in — even though the pollution at issue, according to U.S. District Court Judge William M. Nickerson, turned out to be not from some 80,000 chickens but from 42 cows put on the property as the proverbial red herring ("Farmers, Purdue win pollution suit," Dec. 21).

The judge covered his tracks in an opinion that insults the common sense of all Marylanders. What he should have done was get the cows off the property — which were there only as a distraction for the lawsuit — and then had the water tested again.

Instead, the judge threw the case as far as he could, then cold-cocked the law school and the plaintiffs by reminding them of an earlier threats of sanctions.

If I were the Waterkeeper Alliance plaintiff, I would say to Judge Nickerson: See you at the 4th Circuit Court with my new legal team of David Boies, Reid Weingarten and former Enron prosecutor John Hueston, all paid for by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

It would be nice too if the chancellor of the University System of Maryland came out and supported the law students who worked so hard on this case.

William C. Bond, Baltimore

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