Voters neglect high court race
The Michigan Daily-Sunday, November 5, 1978-Page 15
Prop. K would extend
ower to deny bail
By ELISA ISAACSON
The Michigan Supreme Court Justice
hopefuls, their levers relegated to the
bottom of the ballot on the voters'
booth, are traditionally among the most
neglected candidates in the election.
Indeed, this supposedly non-partisan
race-the candidates of which are
nominted by party-is bewildering to
many habitually straight ticket voters.
"PEOPLE DON'T feel they know
enough about judges," noted candidate
Gary McDonald, attributing the
problem to what he calls the
"prohibition on taking a stand" on.
The candidates them-
selves-Democratic nominees Mc-
Donald and G. Mennen Williams and
Republican nominees James Ryan and
Alice Gilbert-appear to be alternately
exploiting and ignoring their party af-
Williams, an incumbent, insisted af-
ter a Democratic luncheon at the
Michigan Union Friday, that "I don't
think there are any party politics in the
JUST THE evening before, however,
the former Michigan governor had
stood on a stage in Flint with President
Carter and a host of other Democrats
and urged Michiganders to "vote for
the non-partisan Democratic can-
didates-Gary McDonald and G. Men-
While the hopefuls continue to deny
party sentiments influence their per-
formance on the bench, observers point
out that there is a 4-3 voting split in the
present Supreme Court-the
Democrats having the edge.
Republican incumbent Ryan has
acknowledged the existence of the
division, but says he feels it is "more of-
ten not true."
OAKLAND COUNTY Circuit Court
Judge Gilbert claims she is "the only
independent candidate in this race,"
but she has been endorsed by Ryan
supporters who hope a defeat of
Williams would "reverse the split."
All four candidates have been cam-
paigning throughout the state, citing
respective judicial records as the
reason each would be the best choice
In addition, Gilbert has been leveling
some accusations against the present
court, drawing her evidence from a
State Bar report.
THE BAR HAS charged the court
with failing to exercise proper leader-
ship over the lower courts, and with
creating congestion in those-lower cour-
ts by taking too long to reach verdicts.
Williams and Ryan both argue that
the first accusation is somewhat inap-
propriate, citing legalities which limit
the Supreme Court's influence.
While admitting that congestion is
backing up the court system, the two
incumbents say the problem is being
caused by a recent influx of cases, and
claim they are actually reviewing more
cases now to keep up with the rush.
McDONALD,. A Circuit Court judge
from Saginaw, is the only candidate
who is not from the Detroit area, and
feels a voice from another part of the
state is needed on the Supreme Court.
He also advocates computerization of
the courts, based on a system he in-
stalled in Saginaw.
As election day approaches, all the
candidates are asserting that it is
ultimately their qualifications, and the
way they put these qualifications to
work, that will determine the election.
However, Ryan states that "although
there are always changes . . . I would
not look for any dramatic, eye-catching
developments in the court" over the
next few years. .
By MICHAEL ARKUSH
Although it hasn't generated as much
publicity as the three tax reform
proposals, Tuesday's ballot initiative to
expand a judge's right to deny bail to
certain suspects has recently sparked
The initiative, Proposal K, would
amend the constitutional provision
guaranteeing bail to all pesons except
those charged with murder or treason
to also exclude anyone charged with
rape, armed robbery and kidnapping
JUDGES WOULD also be em-
powered to refuse bail to a person ac-
cused of a felony if he or she has
already been convicted of two crimes
involving violence within the previous
15 years, or is on bail, parole or
probation for such a crime.
However, the judge is required to set
bail if a trial hasn't commenced within
90 days after bail is first denied.
The proposal's supporters argue it
would protect the citizens from a
suspect who, although not convicted,
has been charged with a crime from
evidence showing some degree of
"I SUPPORT IT because it provides
a further protection of the state'
citizens from a possible, if not probable,
criminal," said Oakland County
Prosecutor L. Brooks Patterson.
The initiative, placed on the ballot by
the state legislature, has aroused the
concern of the American Civil Liberties
Union (ALCU). ALCU officials claim
the proposal is a form of "pre-trial
punishment" because the judge would
be able to send suspects to jail before
they have a chance to go on trial.
"Two fundamental principles of our
system of criminal justice are the
presumption of innocence and that no
one shall be subject to punishment until
proven guilty. An arrest of accusation
is not a basis for punishment; only a
conviction can justify punishment"
said Howard Simon, Michigan's ACLU
Other civil liberatarians argue the
measure would severely hinder the
suspect's chances for acquital. They
contend the accused would not have
sufficient time to find the witnesses
necessary to prove his or her innocen-
Colburn a tough battler despite late start
By MARK PARRENT
Despite delays caused by a
Republican primary recount, C.
William Colburn is managing to give
Democrat Edward Pierce a run for his
money in the race for the 18th District
state senate seat of retiriig Republican
Colburn did not become the official
Republican candidate until about a'
month ago because of the recount
problems, but he says the delay ac-
tually give him an advantage because
of publicity surrounding the controver-
In addition, Colburn notes, the late
start made his supporters feel a "sense
COLBURN'S campaign revolves
around two major points. He says we
have entered an "age of limits" where
government must be held under strict
controls, and contends his opponent is a
"big spender" who is not in tune with
the public's desire for government
Secondly, Colburn charges that Pier-
ce is lacking in state government ex-
perience and is not really interested in
state government anyway, except as a
"stepping stone" for a congressional
The state senate seat "is the one thing
that I aim for, it's the position that I'm
looking at," said Colburn.
BUT ALTHOUGH Colburn never ex-
pressed a desire for the Congressional
seat, there was talk in both parties
several years ago of Colburn trying in
1976 for the congressional seat of Mar-
vin Esch if Esch ran for the Senate.
But such speculation was laid to rest
when Colburn was upset in his bid for
City Council reelection in 1974.
Colburn, 39, is a speech professor at
the University. He has served as a con-
sultant to several corporations and
unions, and contends this experience
gives him a broader base than his op-
ponent. He was also appointed by
Governor Milliken to the State Water
Resources Commission, where he was
COLBURN SAID he has enjoyed
strong student support during the cam-
paign, a position, he contends, which
would not have been possible several
"The students (now) are much more
level-headed and not so emotional,"
MSA takes first issue stands
(Continued from Page 1)
"they haven't sided with MSA on some
"Brown has tried to help the students
more than any other Regent, but we
(MSA) and Brown have a major
disagreement on divestment (from
South Africa) and GEO (Graduate Em-
ployees Organization). Waters hasn't
been' the most active advocate of
students, but we prefer Brownand
Waters to Republican candidates
(Gilbert) Bursley and (John) Axe," she
sRUBIN EXPLAINED that Bursley
opposes South African divestment, and
CIA recruitment guidelines. Axe favors
Headlee which Rubin claims is con-
tradictory because it would hurt the
University he would be serving.
Continued from Page 1f
four-story building at the end of South
LEBOW AND Larry Pulkownik,
president of the Union, agreed that if
the Regents approve the plan at their
December meeting, they are "finally
going to make a commitment for a
Said Pulkownik: "As far as I'm con-
cerned, the Union is a student building.
That's the bottom line of this."
But Stanfield Wells, the Union's
manager,aseesa different bottom line
for' the 62-year-old building. Although
he stressed he is supportive of changes
which will "improve our ability to ac-
commodate our constituents," Wells
riffirmed a stance he has taken in the
MSA endorsed Bullard and Pierce
because of their strong pro-student
MSA opposed the Tisch amendment
because, according to Rubin, "It would
have a devastating effect on the quality
of education and tenants' rights. It
would cut the amount of money
available to the University, and would
provide a tremendous profit for lan-
dlords without helping tenants."
RUBIN ADDED that MSA thought
the Headlee amendment would also
hurt the quality of education.
The Voucher Plan was opposed
because it would give public funds to
private schools, said Rubin.
"The voucher plan deals with the
symptom rather than the problem,
because it doesn't provide a solution to
problems such as supplementation,"
MSA President Eric Arnson said the
endorsements were an important ac-
tion because "MSA should speak on
issues that effect the student body."
Positions are available for students on
University Committees: University Coun-
cil, Civil Liberties Board, Student Relations,
State Relations and others.
Information and applications at
3909 Michigan Union.
Apply Daily 9-5
DEADLINE NOV.8 5 p.m.
* Special education teacher-consultant for
emotionally impaired and learning-dis-
* Washtenow County Commissioner from Dis-
trict 13 for six years.
" Member of the following committees:
* Affirmative Action Committee
* Mental Health Board
* Employment and Training