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September 09, 1983 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-09-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

20 Friday, September 9, 1983

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Jewish Groups Angry Over President Reagan's
Firing of 3 Civil Right Commission Members

A Happy and Healthy

New Year

commission that is at
he has a right to replace issue and charged that "be-
three commission members, hind the assaults on the stake," Vorspan said. "We
To All Our Friends
firmly believe that the
Mary Frances Berry, Rabbi President's nominations,
President's actions will re-
racial
quotas
and
mandat-
Murray
Saltzman
and
Nellie Friedman Marion Kerwin
Blandina Cardenas ory busing are being pre- tard the progress of civil
Helen Rice
Henrietta Levine
Ramirez as he had two other sented as a litmus test, a rights in America." He said
if the nominees are con-
members of the commission. latter-day loyalty oath to
FREE
He has charged that the determine one's fealty to firmed, "the impartiality
GIFT WRAPPING
and the independence of the
opposition is due to the civil rights."
USE OUR
U.S. Commission on Civil
BRIDAL REGISTRY
Testifying before the Se-
rejection by his three
Rights will be seriously im-
nominees of quotas as a nate Judiciary Committee
remedy for discrimina- hearing on the nominations paired."
This seemed to be the
tion against blacks, in July, Kenneth Bialkin,
women and other minor- ADL's national chairman, position of the Democrats on
noted that "all three the committee even though
ity groups.
Civil rights groups, how- nominees have devoted the nominees are all Demo-
cratS. Sen. Joseph Biden
ever, have charged that Re- much of their professional
visa
(D-Del.), the committee's
agan is seeking to under- and personal efforts to
M embe r
mastercharge
mine the independence of securing basic rights and ranking Democrat, said
Lampi-Shades-Tables-Wall Decor-Gifts
that although the nominees
the commission which has liberties for various disad-
had "impeccable" creden-
frequently criticized his vantaged minorities in this
tials he would vote against
country."
policies on civil rights.
them because "at stake is
But he said the critics
All the Jewish groups op-
22120 Coolidge at 9 Mile, Oak Park
the independence of the
pose quotas. But they differ have "narrowly focused
commission."
Daily: 9:30-5:30 pm-
545-1410
in the present controversy. on one highly controver-
Sen. Howard Metzen-
The Anti-Defamation sial issue, characterizing
baum (D-Ohio) also said he
League of Bnai Brith has the nominees' opposition
had "no doubt" about the
taken the strongest position to race-preferential
nominees' qualifications
in favor of the Reagan ac- quotas as wholesale
but that "regardless of the
tion, supporting all three abandonment of affirma-
merits of the new appoin-
Reagan nominees — Ab- tive action and civil
tees, the issue before us re-
ram, John Bunzel, a former rights." Bialkin stressed
lates directly to the inde-
president of San. Jose State that both the ADL and
pendence of the commis-
University; and Robert De- the nominees' opposition
sion."
stro, an assistant professor to quotas have in no way
Squadron suggested
of law at Catholic Univer- "diminished" their "sup-
sity in Washington — as port and struggle for this could be assured by
passing legislation
Manufacturers and Stylists
well as the President's right equal opportunity for all
"which would establish
to make the changes on the individuals."
OF FINE JEWELRY
in law fixed and
In testifying before the
commission.
staggered terms for all
The ADL also supports same Senate committee,
27831 Southfield at 11 1/2 Mile
members of the commis-
Reagan's nomination of Howard Friedman, the AJ-
Linda Chavez, assistant to Committee's president, also sion and which would
Lathrup Village
the president of the Ameri- noted that opposition to preclude their dismissal
except for neglect of duty
can Federation of Teachers, Abram centered on his dis-
as the commission's staff di- approval of quotas. "Is it not or malfeasance in office."
There is some expecta-
rector, a position now open. perfectly clear that his
She was given a recess ap- views on that subject are tion that this would be
firmly rooted in his bedrock done• while at the same
pointment by Reagan.
time the Senate would
The American Jewish commitment to individual
Committee and the and civil rights?" Friedman approve the Reagan ap-
pointees.
'American Jewish Con- asked.
But the House, before
While noting that he
gress have chiefly argued.
taking its summer recess,
in favor of Abram, urging agrees with the Leadership
approved legislation that
Conference
that the nominees be con-
would renew the commis-
sidered on their merits. that the commission must
sion's charter, which ex-
The position of the three retain its independence,
pires Sept. 30, but stipu-
groups has put them in Friedman stressed that "all
lated that a commissioner
opposition to the Leader- three candidates have pub-
could only be fired for "neg-
ship Conference on Civil licly stated their determi-
lect of duty" or "malfea-
Rights, to which they be- nation to be independent
sance." If the Senate were to
long, which has called for and that they have made no
approve this before it con-
the Senate to reject the commitments to the
firmed the Reagan nomina-
President in any specific is-
three nominations.
The Union of American sues." He said since the tions it would mean that
Reagan would not be able to
Hebrew Congregations President has acted, the
remove the three commis-
candidates
should
be
judged
(UAHC) is the only Jewish
sioners he wants replaced.
organization also to support on their qualifications.
The controversy could
the rejection of all the
Squadron,
Howard
nominees. Saltzman, one of _ president of the AJCon- have provided a real oppor-
the ousted commissioners, gress; in a letter to the tunity for discussing the is-
is a Reform rabbi in Balti- committee; endorsed sues of quotas and man-
dated busing and whether
more.
Abram as "eminently qual-
The ADL has taken an ified." But he noted that the they can accomplish the
aggressive position on the President's -wholesale firing goals of a more equal
issue from the beginning. of members of the commis-_ society, or if not, what
Nathan Perlmutter, the sion indicates an insensitiv- should be done. But so far
more heat than light has
ADL's national director, ity to the feelings of minor-
spoke out frequently on the ity communities, which been shed, and with the
have already experienced Presidential election little
deep disappointment at the more than a year away rea-
failure of this Administra- soned discussion cannot be
tion to assign a higher prior- expected.
For the Jewish commu-
ity to the enforcement of
nity this could mean further
civil rights.','
In expressing the exacerbation of the tense
UAHC's
opposition to the situation that already
•80,000 SQUARE FEET ADDITIONAL STORAGE AREA •4 RAILROAD SIDINGS
exists between it and some
nominations, Albert Vor-
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span, the Reform group's parts of the black commu-
vice president, stressed nity.
FORMER DESOTO ASSEMBLY PLANT
its respect for Abram and
his efforts in the civil Solidarity Sun-
NO REASONABLE OFFER TURNED DOWN
An estimated 180,000
rights struggle.
No Appointment Necessary • 8223 West Warren • Dearborn
"It is not the indepen- people jammed Dag Ham-
dence and integrity of the marskjold Plaza across from
nominees which is at issue; the United Nations in May
rather it is the indepen- for the 12th annual Solidar-
FROM THE OLD TO THE MEW
dence and integrity of the ity Sunday for Soviet Jewry.

By DAVID FRIEDMAN

WASHINGTON (JTA) —
President Reagan's firing of
three members of the
United States Commission
on Civil Rights and naming
three others to replace them
has put four Jewish organ-
izations, all of them with
long established records in
the civil rights movement,
in the midst of an im-
passioned national debate.
The controversy has
taken on an additional di-
mension for the Jewish
groups since one of the
nominees is Morris Abram,
former president of the
American Jewish Commit-
tee and of Brandeis Univer-
sity, and a New York lawyer
who fought for civil rights in
his native Georgia in the
1960s.
Reagan has argued that

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