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September 27, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-27

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Page 4-Thursday, September 27, 1979-The Michigan Daily


Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LXXXX, No. 19 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Breakthrough in London

A T THE LONDON conference on
Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, the
Patriotic Front guerrilla leaders have
now tossed the ball squarely into
Bishop Muzorewa's camp. By offering
a proposed constitution which allows
whites 20 per cent of the seats in the
Salisbury parliament, Robert Mugabe
and Joshua Nkomo have now made it
incumbent upon the Bishop and his,
white puppeteer, Ian Smith, to pick up
that momentum and accept at least
one of the two alternatives proposed.
What the Patriotic Front did was of-
fer separate proposals in its draft con-
stitution. Both alternatives call for 96
black seats and 24 white seats in the
new Parliament. Under the preferred
plan, blacks would have a vote in the
election of nine of the white seats.
That plan is by itself a major con-
cession on the part of guerrilla leaders
who have heretofore held to the
realization that any white represen-
tation over their 3.5 per cent in the
population is both top-heavy and
inherently racist. However, faced with
the intransigence of the illegitimate
Muzorewa government and of Ian.
Smith, the bastion of futile white
supremacist ideals, the Patriotic Front
were forced to reluctantly offer the
compromise plan or be wrongly sad-
dled in international opinion as the
wrecker of the constitutional conferen-
And to show the extent of their
willingness to compromise, even in the
face of Muzorewa's stubbornness, the
guerrillas went so far as to offer a
second alternative plan, one which no
doubt will be preferred by the main
party of the white minority, Mr.
Smith's Rhodesian Front. The second
proposed constitution differs from the
first in the all-important aspect of who
gets to vote for the white represen-
tatives. Under the second plan, there
would be separate white and black
elections to elect separately the white
and black representatives.
That plan was offered "with sad-
ness" and "under protest" bysthe
Patriotic Front spokesman, but it also
represents a new strategy on the part

of the guerrillas aimed at moving Zim-
babwe from its present marionette
show to a state of true black majority
Basically, the Patriotic Front is now
concerning itself with the task of get-
ting into power in Salisbury, leaving.
the legalistic constitutional changes
for later. The key to that strategy is
making sure that the black parliamen-
tary majority can, by itself, propse and
pass constitutional changes, and that,
unlike the present sham, the white
minority is not reserved an automatic
veto power over such changes.
While forcing the Patriotic Front
leaders to abandon, at least during
these negotiations, their commitment
to dissolving white over-
representation, the strategy shows a
soundness of mind, an awareness of
the give-and-take of political
bargaining, and an even greater com-
mitment to a truly free Zimbabwean
The two sides in the dispute are still
poles apart on many other key issues
which must soon be addressed in the
conference. The make-up of the tran-
sition government, the disposition of
the military forces, and the integration
of the old Rhodesian army with the
Patriotic Front guerrilla army are all
issues that have the potential of
deadlocking the conference much the
same way the issue of the constitution
deadlocked the meeting until now.
But Mugabe and company have
proven this week that in negotiations
for the fate of their nation, they are
willing to make more than their share
of concessions, since it appears ob-
vious that Bishop Muzorewa and Mr.
Smith will continue to tow the racist
hardline .while enunciating the groun-
dless fears of Zimbabwe's minority
white population.
And by at least wrestling from the
white block the veto power over con-
stitutional changes, the guerrillas are
leaving open the needed legal
mechanism to, once in power, even-
tually wipe away the last vestiges of
the brand of legal white racism that
Bishop Muzorewa and Mr. Smith

In a University dormitory, a ha
students are enjoying some beer. Th
an elevator and it begins to move
elevator is a train and I'm the con
says one as he reaches for an im
whistle-string. With each pull of the
the student rams his buttocks aga
elevator door. After the second bu
elevator slows to a halt between flo
tilts precariously to one side. Its oc
are trapped inside for an hour.
In that 1973 case, the campus lega
fice successfully defended somee
students against the University's att
have them pay for damages to the e
But had the incident occurred this Sep
Student Legal Services (SLS) couldr
gotten involved.
THE REASON FOR that is an iter
passed by the University's Board of
prohibiting SLS from representing st
legal actions initiated by the Univer
proved in July while most studentsN
of town, the policy was discussed aga
week's Regents meeting. And whil
sity attention was focused on ti
protests of the Washtenaw County(
Against Apartheid, not a murmur w
from the student body as the Regen
another blow against its rights.
The new policy-which insults stu
telligence while depriving them of
right-is based on the flimsy logic su
in an informational report submi
week by University counsel Rodekic
"Since SLS is supported by a m
student fee assessment, it is supp
University funds," Daane wrote. "I
it an inappropriate use of University
finance both sides of an adversary pr
once administrative resolution of th
has become impossible."
FEW PEOPLE can be expected to
an argument so transparent. Of1
mandatory fee each student pa
semester, $1.74 comprises SLS's $1
nual budget. The University's
volvement in the exchange is to c
money and give it to MSA, which th
SLS. While Daane has semantic gr
his argument-MSA and its progr
SLS, exist because the Regents al
to-his contention is a little like sa
your accountant owns your money b
pays all your bills.
Jonathan Rose, director of SLS, i
admit that the University-initiab
against students make' up only a tin

ndful of
ey enter
e. "This
ainst the
imp, the
oors and
al aid of-
of those
empts to
not have
m quietly
udents in
sity. Ap-
were out
in at last
e Univer-
he weak
vas heard
ts struck
dents' in-
f a basic
immed up
itted last
ck Daane.
ported by
I consider
y funds to
e problem
o swallow
the $2.92
ays each
21,000 an-
only in-
,ollect the
hen funds
ounds for
ams, like
low them
aying that
ecause he
s quick to
ed cases
ny portion

By Leonard Bernstein

deliver blow to students

Legal Services' powers

... heads legal aid

subtle pressure on administrators to back up
their employees."
THERE IS ALSO some doubt about
whether the Regents' action is legal. Paul
Zimmer, state assistant attorney general, ex-
plained that the question will require a good
deal of legal research before it can be
litigated. But Zimmer admitted that "there
are certain legitimate questions involved. On
one hand, the University does collect these-
funds on a mandatory basis," he said. "On the
other hand, if the fee is collected from studen-
ts for the specific purpose of funding the
student government and its legal service of-
fice, and this has been changed by a
unilateral action by the Regents, I could see
no reason behind student complaints."
Rose isn't going to pursue the issue in court
(he couldn't if he wanted to, because SLS also
lacks the privilege of suing the University),
but he promises to bring the matter up before
the Regents again is no one else does. He sees
the controversy as a political matter, a
question of student power against University
power. "Maybe if there's no-hue and cry from
students it's because students don't think it's
that important."
That is probably the most disturbing
element of the entire SLS disputs. Other than
speeches by MSA President Jim Alland and
Rose at the public comment session of last
week's Regents meeting, not a word of protest
was vocied against the Regents' decision.
Because of that fact, the cycle of Regental en-
croachments will continue.
In April, students mutely watched while the
Regents authorized Henry Johnson, vice-
presient for student services, to certify an
MSA election the Central Student Judiciary
refused to certify, and placed MSA's budget
in Johnson's receivership. Last week that
silence continued and another right was lost.
Leonard Bernstein is the Daily's Special
Projects editor. This article was resear-'
ched by Daily MSA reporter Tom Mirga.

of the work SLS does each year, but the fact
remains that any student sued by the Univer-
sity must now find a non-University
lawyer-despite the fact that he or she con-
tributes to SLS each semester. Rose
estimates that more than half the Univer-
sity's students fall outside the income
brackets for free legal aid provided by such
groups like Model Cities or Washtenaw Coun-
ty Legal Aid Society. For those students, a
University-initiated case could mean enor-
mous legal costs.
Rose is also worried the new policy may
have an indirect effect on procedural confron-
tations between students and administrators.
"An administrative proceeding - no matter
how good it is - is better if it isn't a court of
last resort for the student. There's a natural,

Letters to the Daily

To the Daily:
The Michigan Marching Band
is a misnomer! They don't mar-
ch, and they don't play band
At the Notre Dame game they
stood at midfield and shuffled a
few times. They appeared to have
their feet nailed to the turf. What
ever happened to the fast double
step and interesting formations?
The music was barely audible

in Section No. 17. They should get
some violins and rename the out-
fit the Michigan Classical Or-
Why not surprise us sometime
with a few rip-roaring Sousa
marches? The applause would
tell the story: The spectators
prefer band music from a
band-not classical orchestra
-Bob Blandford

From the drawing board


. .

Judge Brown's nomination

PICKED BY HIS old friend Jimmy
Carter to run the Justice Depar-
tment, a prominent Atlanta lawyer
was confronted three years ago with a
dilemma which became a national con-
troversy. When the smoke had finally
cleared, Griffin Bell was no longer a
member of an all-white exclusive
social club, opting to become the
nation's most prominent law enfor-
cement official.
Bell's resignation abruptly ended the
criticism that had surfaced from coun-
tless civil rights groups and members
of Congress. The broader issue,
however, remained unresolved, as the
nation quickly moved on to watch the
first days of the Carter administration.
Almost three years later, the
question remains unanswered: Do
nominees for cabinet positions or
federal judgeships have to resign from
any social groups openly or covertly
discriminating against accepting
members on the basis of sex, religion
or race?
After an often bitter struggle, the
Senate Judiciary Committee passed a
resolution this week designed to
establish a precedent so that future
cases aren't subjected to long and par-
tisan debating in confirmation
hearings. But in stretching for a lan-
dmark policy, the committee came up
far too short, and in effect, not really
coming up with a precedent at all.
Headed by the supposed liberal
leader of the Senate, Edward Kennedy,
tha enmmittee adnnted a nolicv that "it

panel demonstrates its obvious lack of
understanding for the process of
justice in society. Any federal judge
belonging to a discriminative
organization may or may not hold
those prejudiced beliefs, but keeping
his status in such a group can only
damage the credibility of his decisions.
For example, if a federal judge is
faced with 'a ruling affecting the con-
stitutionality of a segregated or in-
tegrated school district, his member-
ship in an all-white club would clearly
be seen by civil rights leaders as a
clear conflict of interest. Such ex-
clusive groups exist across the coun-
try, and are condemnable, but there's
very ;little to do about most of these
racist cliques. What can be done,
however., is for a federal judge to
disassociate himself from any such
group that openly discriminates.
In choosing a much more lenient
policy, the committee was responding
to the case of Judge Bailey Brown,
chief justice in the Federal District
Court of Memphis. Approving his con-
firmation to the United States Court of
Appeals, the committee accepted the
judge's decision to suspend his mem-
bership in an all-white University club.
Suspension is not nearly enough. The
committee and the full Senate must
pass a resolution prohibiting confir-
mation of any judge who refuses to
resign from membership in any groups
known for their discriminative
nolicies. Until such a resolution is


MNfR6 Come -THE CemouL$a..,.

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