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September 24, 1968 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-09-24

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Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

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and the flag...

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Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily exp ress the individual opinions of staff writers
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ti r


Reeorder's Court:
A travesty of justice

RECORDER'S COURT, the primary or-
gan of criminal justice in Detroit, is
under attack again. In a commentary to
be published in the forthcoming issue of
the Michigan Law Review, the court as a
whole and 12 of its 13 judges as individ-
uals are accused of the most shocking
dereliction of duty during the, July, 1967
riot in Detroit.
The judges are accused of 'railroading
cases through the courts without consid-,
ering whether4 there was -real cause for
such haste, of presuming the guilt of de-
fendants, of setting excessive bail, of vio-
lating federal a n d state constittional
and statutory rights' o defendants, and
a variety of procedural offenses.
In short, although the commentary,
written by a panel of seven law students,'
does rlot come right out and say so, the
Recorder's Court judges, aided and abet-
ted by superior court judges, sacrificed
the law to their perception of order.
The report, however, presents a some-
what distorted view of the situation. The
commentary is, from this writer's exper-
ience, a very accurate description cf the
judicial travesty that w a s the Detroit
courts during and after the riot. But be-
cause the commentary is limited to ,the
riot situation, however, an, important
truth is missed.
tr ecorder'sCourt, in its normal every-
day operation, isn't much better than it
was during the riot. Due to the personal-
ities of nost of the judges, an individual,
particularly if he is poor and black, hard-
ly stands a chance in it.
For the most part, the'Recorder's Court
judges are either incompetant, unfit, or'
both. S o m e of the judges reached the
bench by surviving t h e vissisitudes of
Wayne County politics.
SAMUEL OLSEN reached the bech by
way of the Wayne County prosecutor's
Office. In his years .s W a y n e County
Prosecutor, Olsen established a reputa-
tion for being tough on criminals - es-
pecially if they were black. Near the end
of his term, he acquired a certain notor-
iety when he refused to issue or seek a
warrant charging a white youth, accused
of slaying a black youth, with murder. His
performance as a judge has not b e e n
much better.
Judge Thomas Poindexter was elected
to the court after a term on the Detroit
Common Council. Poindexter was elected
to Council by v i r t u e of his role as a
spokesman for Detroit's white homeown-
ers and as leader of a campaign to pass a
"homeowners' rights" ,ordinance which
repealed all existing open housing pro-
visions in the city. Poindexter comes un-
der attack in the report for refasing to
consider such crucial matters in criminal.
cases as the legality of search and seizure.
Judge Robert Colombo c a m e to the
court after years as counsel for the De-
troit Police Officers Association. He is
well known as a cop's judge. He gained
some notoriety when, at an arraignment
during the riot, he referred to a group of

defendants before him as "a bunch of
lousy, thieving looters." When one of the
defendants inform ed Colombo he would
have to prove that charge, the good judge
replied: "We will."
Of all the judges on the bench, only
George Crockett, a Negro, seems to realize
consistently that the defendants brought
before him are human beings.
But the quality of the judges is-only
part of the problem. Recorder's Court is
very closely tied in with the Detroit Po-
lice Department and the Wayne County
Prosecutors Office. This unholy relation-
ship' hardly gives the defendant a chance,
especially in view of the policeman's men-
tality which most of the judges display.
ANOTHER MAJOR barrier to justice in
Detroitis the system of assigned coun-
sel in use at Recorder's. Under recent Su-
preme Court rulings, defendants in crim-
inal procedings are entitled to counsel.
If the defendant is indigent, the court
must appoint cousel for him.
In Detroit, court-assigned attorneys are
picked from a group of miserable hacks
known derisively as the "Clinton Street
bar." These are attorneys of such stature
that the only way they can make a living
is off handouts fromi the court. They are
hot known as splendid defenders.
Every six months or so, the Detroit Bar
Association makes a great noise about the
need for a real public defender system in
the city, a system which could be made to
work very well if reputable 'attorneys were
to volunteer some time. But the bar as-
sociation's proposals never turn out to
be more than sound and fury and the
whole issue is quickly forgotten for an-
other half year.
Obviously, the entire structure of Re-
corder's Court must be revamped, but to
say how it should be done is not so simple.
Currently judges are elected, and 't h e
people seem to h a v e a knack for not
choosing very good judges. However, ex-
perience has shown that in Michigan, ap-
pointed judges are likely to be as bad as
or worse than elected judges.
One hope for justice in the court would
be to have the Justice Department and
the one respectable court in the state, the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern Dis-
trict of Michigan, take a long, hard look
at judicial procedures in Recorder's
* Another possible avenue for change in
th6 court is the Judicial Tenure Commis-
sion, newly established by constitutional
amendinent in the August primary. The
commission is empowered to remove low-
er court judgesr for incompetance, mis-
feasance, or malfeasance. Several Record-
er's judges seem likely candidates for re-
Perhaps if the judges knew they were
being watched, and watched by people
who have the power to change things,
they would be somewhat less willing to
flagrantly abuse their discretionary pow-
Managing Editor


By Liberation News Service
EDITOR'S NOTE: The American
Legion "Convention Committee on
Americanism presented the follow-
ing resolutions to the national con-
vention 'held in New Orleans on
Sept. 10, 11 and 12, which appiar-
ently passed them. The document,
marked "Confidential--this mater-
ial is furnished so that you may
follow convection proceedingsin-
telligently, and is not for release"
was obtained by THE WORD, a
New Orleans underground news-
paper) and transmitted to The
Daily by Liberation News Service.
RESOLUTION NO. 480 (Texas)
--Subject: Enat .Legislation
to Amend the Sedition Act of 1917.
Whereas, Many objectors to the
Vietnam war have carried their
protests far beyond the right of
free speech and the right to peace-
ably assemble and petition the
government for redress of. griev-
ances as guaranteed in the Con-
stitution of the United States by:
-1. Physically impeding .the
operation of the Selective Service
Act, and y
-2. Physically interfering with
the operation of trains carrying
United States troops, and
- +3. Physically preventing Unit-
ed States Government agents for
interviewingprospective officers
for the Armed Forces, and
-4. Physically hampering the
transaction: of public business by
blocking access to the Nation's
military headquarters; and
Whereas, Existing laws seem in-
sufficient to adequately deal with
such crimes against the public
welfare; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, By The American
Legion in National Convention as-
sembled in . New Orleans, Louisi-
ana, September 10, 11, 12, 1968,
that the Congress of the United
States be, and is hereby petitioned
to amend the Sedition Act of 1917,
40 Stat. 533 by adding to it the
words, "or armed conflict," to be
inserted. after the 'w6rd, "war,"
wherever it appears in said statute,
thereby making the penalties of
the law applicable to offenses
committed when the United
States is engaged in armed con-'
flict though not engaged in war
according to formal declaration
by Act of Congress. ,
sylvania)-Subject: Enact Legis-
lation to Expose to the Public
the Names of Known Communists
and Communist Front Organiza-
tions Operating in the United
Whereas, It is vitally important
that the people of this nation con-
stantly be informed as to the
existence and nature of subversive
organizations and individuals;
now, therefore, be it
Resolved; By the American Le-
gion in National Convention as-


Chicago, you ain't seen nothing yet

sembled in New Orleans, Louisi-
ana, September 10, '11, 12, 1968,
that it reiterate its stand and re-
quest the House Committee on
Un-American Activities to update
a report of organizations and in-
dividuals found to be subversive
in nature.
Resolution No. 432 (New York)
-Subject: Loyalty Oath for Ed-
ucators in Public-S u p p o r t e d
Whereas, The Preamble to the
Constitution of the American
Legion obligates its members to:
-1. Maintain Law and Order
-2. Foster and perpetuate a
100 per cent Americanism
Whereas, The American Legion
has the interest of America's
youth; and
Whereas, Actions by some teen
agers can be attributed to liberal.
ideas espoused by educators whose
standards are ,not in the best in-
terest of the United States; ard'
Whereas, One of the qualifica-
tions/ of an educator should be
loyalty to the state and nation in
which he is teaching; now, there-
fore, be it
Resolved, By The American
Legion in National Convention as-
sembled in New, Orleans, Lousi-"
ana, September 10, 11, 12, 1968,
that it strongly support and ini-
tiate state legislation to re-estab-
lish, where necessary, a loyalty
oath requirement for the educa-

torgs in public-supported schools,
colleges and universities.
Resolution No. 356 (New Hamp-
*hire)-Subject: Enact Legisla-
tion Which Would Make It Im-
possible for Any Individual Who
Has Publicly Refused to Bear
Arms When Called Upon to Do So
By Duly Constituted Authority to
Receive any Scholarship or Stu-
dent-Aid Money Made Available
by State or National Government
for Educational Purposes were
consolidated, using the Number of
Resolution No. 356, as amended,
as follows:
Whereas, Since the establish-
ment of our Republic one of the
basic purposes for the use of tax
funds in the field of education has
been to train citizen to be ter
operate their democratic Govern-
ment; and
Whereas, A considerable amount
of public money is currently being
utilized in the field of public ed-
ucation; and
Whereas, A part of these public
funds is utilized in the field of
scholarships and student-aid pro-
grams; and
Whereas, In some of our public,
institutions certain individuals,
who do not qualify on conscien-
tious or religious grounds as pro-
vided by law, have publicly refused
to bear arms in defense of the
form of Government which has

offered them a tax-supported ed-
ucation; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, 'By, The American
Legion in National Convention as-
sembled in New Orleans, Louisi-
ana, September 10', 11, 12, 1968,
that legislation be enacted on a
state and national level which'
would make it impossible for any
individual who does not qualify on
conscientious or religious grounds
provided by law, who has publicly
refused to bear arms when called
upon to do so by duly, constituted
authority to receive any scholar-
'ship or student-aid monies from
any tax-supported sources made
available by the State or National.
Government for educational pur-
(California and Indiana -ub-
Iect: Entry Into The 'United States
of Red Students were consolidated.
using the Number of Resolution
No. 69 and the text of Resolution
No. 131, as amended, as follows:
Whereas, The time is now to rid
universities and colleges of those
who advocate/subversive and an-
archist ideas who travel around
the country encouraging active
disobedience of our laws, stirring
up internal strife and mass dis-
ruption of orderly processes, and
agitate youth on our campuses to
become involved in these treacher-
ous activities; now, therefore, be it

History fo :A question of change


New-old danger on the right

FOR MANY on the American left, study-
ing the foibles, plans and minutiae of
reactionary and quasi-fascist f r i n g e
groups h a s always satisfied a certain
masochistic voyeurism. Traditionally, one
paged through a book like Danger on The
Right with an awed relish reserved for
the study of forces that constituted a
clear but not very present danger.
In this year of conservative resurgence,
however, the study of right-wing groups
takes on new urgency. The evidence of
renewed conservative sentiment is every-
where: Students, newsmen and even doc-
tors are brutalized in the streets of Chi-
cago before national television, yet 75
per cent of the public sides with the po-
lice; George Wallace gains support each
day; the activism of students and oppres-
sed minority, groups is the public's pri-
mary paranoia.
Given the proportions of this national
mood of reaction and the likelihood that
it will be translated into a turn to the
right in public policies, how should the
left react? The Humphreyites solemnly
[ 1I Art16t t 3 4

counsel unification behind the one liberal
figure on the 'scene: Hubert Humphrey.
But Humphrey cannot win anyway, and
even if he could his recent statements,
his history of support for the Smith Act,
and red-baiting within the ADA hardly
make him the ideal candidate for turning
back the fascist tide.
ANY A R E SADLY concluding, as a
friend told me the other day, that "We .
will just have to live through a period
where the country is pretty reactionary
until today's students reach positions of
power." And in the meantime, inspired by
a philosophy of knowing thine enemy,
they are boning up on their right wing
fringe groups. As the editors of Liberation
News Service explained to their subscrib-
'ers, "Right now we are sending a lot of
stuff about the right, because we think a
military coup is, say, 70 per cent niore im-
mirent than a successful revolution of,
the oppressed, blacks, and students."
On the right side of this page appears
some of the resolutions passed recently
by the American Legion at its national
convention in New Orleans. Although the
American Legion, which began. calling for

SET IN A GENTEEL assembly room atop the Rackham building, last
week's discussion of reform in the history department rambled on
for some three hours developing into the University's first open-ended
meeting between faculty and students on the "specific issue of academic
As such it ought not be written off lightly. Hopefully it won't be
written off at all. But the real import of the meaning lay in its con-
text, best 'suggested by Prof. Robert Sklar in one of his undergraduate
history classes:
In essence, Sklar told his students not to mistake a bucket of sudsy
liberal foam for a departmental scrubdown.
The demand students brought to the meeting was clear, straight-
forward - and hardly new: let us, as students, have a significant
amount of control over the kind and quality of education we're getting.
The means for obtaining that control were equally clear: let us
have equal representation on the major policy board of the department,
the Executive Committees.
The second proposal would appear" the logical extension of the
first. Shareholders who-wish to exercise control over a corporation do
not ask fpr "advisory" votes, and legislators (theoretically) do not ex-
ercise their influence over executive proposals through "informal, non-
directed forums."
But alas, this logic seemed to scatter in a dozen liberal directions
as the students and the teachers set about securing their own best in-
The problems encountered were many and complex,
HURDLE NO. 1: "Yes, we understand you have constructive criti-
cisms, and I'm sure that everyone here is just as impressed as I am
with the high quality of your ideas. But do you really think your rights
need to be institutionalized; after all you've had a lot of influence on
us just this afternoon."
Hurdle No. 2: "You don't really want a voting seat on the Execu-
tive Committee, you know. Faculty here are very independent and de-
termine curricular offerings independently. And most of the other im-
portant decisions are made by special ad hoc committees.
Hurdle No. 3: "How would we ever determine what areas of decis-
ion are germane to students. Are students qualified to judge scholarly
research, or to assign graduate fellowships? Some areas, you know, are
specifically faculty domains, some are student domains, and some are
the concern of both. How shall we distinguish among them?"
"BUT SIR," the student answers, "isn't our education supposed to
enable us to make such distinctions upon which we are capable of act-
The Rather Final Reply: "Well, frankly, although I'd vote for hav-
ing student representation on the committee, I'm certain the rest of the
department wouldn't. And of course it would have to be approved by
the college, and you knowe how difficult that is.
And off in the background the strong-chinned professor in a blue
suit declares, "Why, students ought not to be admitted to any of the
meetings. And what about student behavior? I don't like having to
teach in classroofns that look like pig pens, and you know why they
look that way: students. If it weren't for students
* * * -
To, dismiss the whole encounter as a mere exercise in circumlocu-
tion would be unfair to those who didn't speak and to a few who did.
The standing rule. the more communication the better is anlicable,

Another suggested that students had to understand "the criteria
on which we select a man for the department."
Both seemed to have thoroughly misapprehended - or so they
would have us believe - the issue at hand. Students are not asking
to be junior partners in the exercise of the traditional criteria of aca-
demic management. They are insisting that the criteria themselves
be changed, that "we all start doing things differently,'
THIS CHALLENGE goes to the very roots of American academic
organization, fo'r it suggests la learning experience in which the pro-
fessor is not in a position of, psychological authority, administering a
pre-defined body of information to his students. It suggests that stu-
dents are partners in learning. {
When students enter into a cooperative role with faculty, the cri-'
teria for effective performance will obviously change.
A faculty member suggested Friday that students entering into a,
cooperative role with faculty would have to tread very carefully.
"They're really quite a bunch of prima donnas, you know." This char-
acterization has been supported all through the works of Clark Kerr;
it echoes through the halls of Stanford. Chicago, and Harvard. But
surely they don't expect the system to remain intact once students are
admitted as equals into academia.
Of course not. The American university %professor knows quite as
well as anyone else where his own interests lie, and h is not about to
surrender them for any amount of liberal soapsuds, which takes one to
the point of the hesitancy about institutionalizing the student role in
departmental decision making.
DECISIONS REGARDING the range and emphasis of curricula,
the number of professors and their graduate - undergraduate deploy-
ment, the nature of degree requirements, the number of hours assigned
to courses -- all these are the result of specific, individual decisions'
made within the department. To suggest that: they merely arise through
some genial hocus-pocus, or that they roll off the faculty club pool ta-
ble into a general catalogue is worse than nonsepse: It simply isn't
For students to take part in those decisions, they must obviously
belong as full members to the decision making bodies. That begins with
the Executive Committee; but it is only a beginning. In addition, stu-
dents must be distributed among all the other ad hoc committees
whose decisions are relevent to student interests.
That sort \of student participation - quite legitimately labelleg asf
a student invahion of the faculty castle - not only ,places students in,
positions of decisive importance in academic organization. Equally im-
portant, it places them in close, informal contact with the department's,
professors - one of the highest ideals we have for a student and teach-
er relationship.
WORKING OUT the mechanics of student representation and con-
stituency, graduate vs. undergraduate interest, and faculty domain vs.
student domain will be difficult. Such procedural matters however,
hardly seem insurmountable given the modern university's position as
society's intellectual fountainhead.
The bureaucratic arrangements - though admittedly important -.
are clearly subsidiary to the basic attitudinal shift which faculty must
make in recognizing students as rational, intelligent people who, strange
as it may seem, are interested in improving the quality of their educa-
There is considerable truth to the statements made Friday em-
nhasizing how much denartmental nolicv arises through informal dis-

Resolved, By The American Le-
gion in National Convention as-
sembled in New Orleans, Louisi-
ana, September 10, 11, 12, 1968,
that it most vigorously oppose ad-
mitting those whose purpose in
gaining admission to our country
is to incite riot and anarchy, par-
ticularly on our campuses at col-
leges and universities.
Resolution No. 126 (Ditict of
Columbia) and Resolution1 No. 47
(Arizona) -- Subject: American
Civil Liberties Union were con-
solidated, using the Number of
Resolution No. 126 and the text
of Resolution No. 407, adopted by
the 1966 National Convention, as
amended, as follows:
Whereas, The American Civil
Liberties Union hereafter called
ACLU, has since its inception de-
fended Communists and their
Whereas, the ACLU has lent its
support to such movements which,
in our judgments, are weakening
statutes relating to obscenity and
pornography and at the same
time, they have appeared in courtx
opposing prayers and Bible read-
ing in public schools; and
Whereas, The ACLU has joined
other organizations in efforts t to
advocate the creation ,of civilian
police review boards w ich, in our
judgment, will materially weaken-
the law enforcement agencies; and
Whereas, These actions seek the
legal right of those involved with-
out consideration of some of the
fundamental concepts of our
American" Heritage; namely, the
relationship of legal authority and
a divine being, the will of the ma-
jority, and support 'the law and
order in its practice; and
Whereas, Such action of the
ACLU 'may be interpreted as at-"
tempts to weaken the Constitution
of the United States of America
an'd give aid and comfort to those
who seek to destroy our former
government; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, By The American Le-
gion in National Convention as-
sembled in New Orleans, Louisi-
ana, September 10, , 12, 1968,
that the ACLU, its officers, funds,
purposes, and operation should be
investigated by the House Com-
mittee on Un-American1 Activi-
ties or by the Senate Internal
Security Subcommittee.
nois) and Resolution No. 481
(Texas)-Subject: Oppose Pro-
viding Aid and Corfort To The
Enemy *were consolidated, usipg
the Number of Resolution No. 33
and the text of Resolution No. 388,
adopted by the 1966 National Con-
vention, as amended, as follows:
Whereas, The united States is
currently engaged in an armed con-
flict with Communist powers and
is seriously threatened by their
acts of aggression; and
Whereas, There exist in the
United States certain organiza-
tions, groups and persons who at-
tempt to impede the Armed
Forces of the United States by
obstructing the movement of
military material and the Armed
Forces of the United States, and
by soliciting money, property, and
supplies, for the purpose of aiding
a hostile foreign power, and to
obstruct and defeat the defense
activities of the United States;
now, therefore, be it
Resolved, By the American
Legion in National Convention as-
sembled in New Orleans, Louisi-
ana, September 10, 11, 12, 1968,
that the American Legion strong-
ly urge that Congress conduct a
thorough investigation. of all, the
activities of such subversive groups
that give aid and comfort to an
armed enemy of our country dur-
ing periods of an undeclared war
and that, if its investigation dis-
closes the necessity for additional
legislation, such. legislation be en-
acted promptly.
Resolution No, 42 (North Da-
kbnn _Qn'hman+ . Cinnna .TTen of'





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