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August Newsletter

With this edition, the Ironing It Out Newsletter is being distributed by Conflict Management Consortium, LLC. Our new website,, will continue to offer archived editions of the IIO Newsletter.


Commentary By: Charles P. Lickson

As is well known world-wide by now, the United States Supreme Court rendered on June 24, 2022 a momentous decision which affects the lives of many Americans and which already has had a profound influence on the “right of privacy.” While we cannot know yet, the totality of the outcome of the decision in the now famous Dobbs vs. Jackson Womens Health case (referred to here as Dobbs), we have already seen citizens of Kansas voting to preserve the right to abortion. Although considered a relatively conservative state, Kansas voters overwhelmingly chose to maintain the right of every citizen to choose an abortion if that is their wish. The Kansas Referendum became part of a Primary election. It is the very opinion of Kansas as a conservative state that makes citizens of Kansas vote so significant. As so well said in the book, What’s The Matter With Kansas, Thomas Trane correctly noted the over-all American lean toward conservativism. The 2002 Trane book states that “Conservatives Won the Hearts of America” (from Metropolitan Books, a Henry Holt imprint, New York).

While the Supreme Court has tried in the past to avoid, if possible, politics and controversial issues, It seems now that the Court is willing to become embroiled in the politics dividing America. In this article, I will claim that the Right of Privacy should have been considered both settled law and a binding precedent under the aegis of the doctrine of Stare Decisis (the binding nature of prior decisions of court).

Please indulge me for a personal and biographical comment here. When I was at Georgetown Law (in the so-called Afternoon Program), I served as a Deputy Clerk for the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C. I was trained to go into court for all divisions: civil, criminal, motions and naturalization. I considered that multi-dimensional training as a compliment not usually shared by law students and other deputy clerks. I was very surprised when I was asked by a respected and well-known sitting Judge, Alexander Holtzoff, to be his Law Clerk. I was in my final semester at Georgetown but not even a law school graduate at the time. Judge Holtzoff was considered both a scholar (having participated in the formulation of the Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure at the federal court level). In fact, he was a nationally known jurist having co-written the law series Barron and Holtzoff, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, These books from West Publishing were a must-have for any lawyer involved with federal courts.

On my very first day as Law Clerk the Judge handed me a little book on Stare Decisis. Judge Holtzoff was certainly what we would call today a conservative. He and his friend Judge Keech would join J. Edgar Hoover for lunch almost every day.

It was certainly a privilege to become a Federal Law Clerk – even before leaving Law School – and it was an experience for this left-leaning liberal Connecticut student to be in the professional presence of distinguished judges and Director Hoover – who history has shown tilted right. Through Judge Holtzoff, I met many people who would influence my career - including time in Court (as a clerk) with Court of Appeals Judge Warren Burger (later Supreme Court Chief Justice) and Judge Sirica (of Watergate fame).

As the Trump proposed potential Justices were being questioned by Senators prior to their vote onto the Court, I believed them when they each testified, under oath, I might add, that they valued the precedential nature of the decision in the Roe and subsequent cases.

I had commented on the Right of Privacy several times in print – including my article on “Privacy and the Computer Age,” IEEE Spectrum, Vol, 5, No. 10, pp 58-63, October, 1968. That article is still cited after many years. Imagine my personal sense of satisfaction when the Supreme Court ruled in the Roe case that abortion was a “national” right in part on the rationale that ruling otherwise would be an invasion of a woman’s right to choose the best course for her body. To decide otherwise in Roe would be, in essence, a violation of her own right of privacy.

The Supreme Court is said in the Dobbs case, that it is up to the states to decide what is or is not a right of privacy when it comes to the right of choice regarding pregnancy. In throwing out (i.e. overruling the Roe case), the Supreme Court failed to follow its own precedent of almost 50 years. Not only has there been a failure to follow the “settled law,” the Court has, by its unfortunate ruling created not only a dilemma for women (and men), but has invited further action by State and Federal legislatures.

One final comment and alert: Even if Congress should pass legislation making abortion a protected national right in every state, the U.S. Supreme Court could rule that statute unconstitutional. Personally I hope that does not happen, but I feel it is my duty to point out that possibility.


Just as the Democratic party in the U.S. seemed to finally be getting several political wins in Congress, the wounds in the ugly fight between principals of both parties flared back into the headlines and onto the talk shows – right wing, left wing and middle wing (if any). A search warrant was served by the FBI at the primary residence of Former President Donald Trump – in Florida about one week ago. If one accepts press news, many classified documents were seen by agents and recovered. The swarm of hornets have come out of the nest and threatened horrible things as a result of the so-called “raid” on the home of a former President.

Source: various news reports from CNN, MS-NBC, Fox News and BBC.

Comment: During active duty in the U.S. Army, I was the Top Secret Control Officer for my unit. This was during a Government recognized War Era (Viet-Nam) for service anywhere even in the United States. The classified documents were kept in a separate area of the unit’s headquarters. The area was locked and protected by wire to delineate its space apart from the headquarters. Details of my job then will not be disclosed here. Suffice it to say, I had to read documents within the designated secure area and could not remove or copy them.

News From


We have reported in these pages that a decision was made months ago to spin off Conflict Management Consortium, LLC. (“CMC”) into a company separate from Lalo Publishing, Inc.. CMC has re-launched its conflict management and resolution training offerings and mediation services under the direction of Charles Lickson and James Martin. The first Train-the-Trainer program was completed in July, 2022. While the LLC of CMC is new, CMC and its predecessor Mediate-Tech/MTI have offered training and services in conflict resolution to many public agencies, corporations and individuals in the past.

Charles (Chips) and Bryane Lickson both continue to be a resource for the new CMC, as it moves forward managed by Jim Martin, a seasoned executive who will be Chief Operating Officer. Jim is a CMC certified mediator and trainer. CMC will use Ironing It Out: Seven Simple Steps for Resolving Conflict (by Charles Lickson) and Effective Negotiation in Seven Simple Steps (by Charles and Bryane Lickson) as resource materials for upcoming classes to be offered virtually and in-person. CMC will also utilize an experienced cadre of adjunct mediators and trainers.

CMC is also currently building up its capability. If readers have a background in dispute resolution, mediation or related fields, and have an interest in becoming a trainer or an associate of CMC, please contact Jim Martin or Chips Lickson by phone at: 540-305-1780 (USA) or email:

A new Train-the-Trainer cohort is scheduled to begin in the coming months.

The new CMC website will be operational by September 1, 2022 at:

News From Lalo Publishing

Todd Denick travelled from Germany to Virginia in July. Todd is the author of IT WILL COME: ALASKA ADVENTURES PALE IN COMPARISON TO SURVIVING SEPSIS. While in the U.S. he participated in several Lalo Publishing author events. Todd was interviewed by Mike McCool of the Royal Examiner. His interview several weeks ago and description of his battle with Sepsis can be found at: at Town Talk, July 10, 2022. Other titles available and upcoming titles from Lalo Publishing can be seen at:

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