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November 06, 1979 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-11-06

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Page 4-Tuesday, November 6, 1979-The Michigan Daily


rirr Mirliigau zuIg
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom


The President's supreme
court politics


Vol. LXXXX, No. 53

News Phone: 764-0552

' 1 .
- -- ---

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Bolivia's democratic setback
N BOLIVIA, it has been said, gov- The course of the new, illegitimate
ernments rise and fall with the government is already coming clear;
seasons. It has become something of martial law has been imposed, air for-
an established ritual for the military to ce jets and rockets are enforcing the
overthrow elected civilian governmen- new regime's authority, and the
ts, to replace them with heavy-handed congress-the Bolivian people's, link
autocracies, and then to schedule new with their government-has been or-
elections for the future. dered dissolved. Bolivia has reverted
This time, more than ever, Bolivians from the threshhold of restoring
and the entire world have reason to be democracy to a dictatorial kind of
incensed. The democratically-elected military autocracy, sending chills
government of President Walter down the spines of believers in
Guevara Arze was only 11 weeks old. democracy.
Congress had just been restored in The United States acted
July after 12 years in abysc. Bolivia, courageously in refusing to condone
after a decade of military rule, was this usurpation of democracy: In cut-
finally on its way to restoring true ting off aid to Bolivia, the Carter ad-
democracy, where citizens have the ministration has demonstrated it
right to choose their leadership, where refuses to recognize illegitimate
dissidence is tolerated, and where governments that seize power at gun-
political oppression is a part of the point. If other responsible governmen-
working system. But the Bolivian ex- ts follow suit, the Bolivian military
periment in democracy never got off may find that in the face of adverse
the ground, being overturned in a world, opinion, its days of running
military coup and Calling the way of rough-shod over democracy are over.
past attempts at democracy.
Misty Beethoven:
An X-rated con roversy

... considering retirement

Carter Kennedy
... may name his successor . . . a key role in nomination

WASHINGTON - The possible resignation
of Justice William Brennan in the summer
could give President Carter his only chance to
name a member of the Supreme Court.
Yet, the realities of politics being what they
are, Carter may be denied even that one
chance - one of the most cherished of
presidential -perogatives.
TO DATE, BRENNAN has only said that he
is considering resigning at the end of thie
court's present term and that he has not
reached a firm decision.I
It could be that Brennan - the oldest mem-
ber of the Supreme Court in age as well as
service - will choose toustaynanother term or
But if Brennan, the leading spokesman for
liberal philosophy on the high bench, decides
to call it a career, there is no guarantee that
Carter will be the one to name his
In fact, the only way that the president
could make the selection is for him to choose a
nominee acceptable both to the Republicans
and to Sen. Edward Kennedy, (D-Mass.) That
would seemimpossible.
nomination would be great - even if Carter
somehow manages to dispose of him as a con-
tender for the Democratic nomination.
If, on the other hand, Kennedy is about to
supplant Carter as the Democrats' standard-
bearer, than his influence becomes even

By Steve Gerstel

As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Com-
mittee, Kennedy would play a key role in
determining the nomination and there are
several alternatives open to him.
If he seems to be losing the nomination,
Kennedy might work with Carter in finding a
nominee they could both support.
SHOULD HE BE headed for victory, Ken-
nedy could adopt the same approach in the
spirit of party harmony.
However, it seems more likely that Ken-,
nedy would then hold out for a liberal - in the
mold-of Brennan - rather than make any
compromise with Carter.
As chairman of the Judiciary Committee,
Kennedy would have a great many ways to
delay a decision by the Senate.
For instance, he could pigeon-hole the
nomination, claiming that the campaign
made it impossible for him to sit through any
lengthy hearings and debate.
EVEN IF CARTER and Kennedy find a
consensus, there would be no way for them to
push the nomination through the Senate.

Who, among the Republicans, would vote
for a Democratic nominee, when, in 1981 aV
GOP president might be sending a name up to
Capitol Hill.
History would be repeating itself.
Lyndon Johnson tried to pull off a double
play that was just too much for the
Republicans to swallow - although Senate
GOP leader Everett Dirksen went along.
THE PLAN JOHNSON offered the Senate
was to elevate an old friend, Abe Fortas, to,
the post of chief justice and have a Texas-
crony, Homer Thornberry, take over Fortas'
seat on the Supreme Court.
Whatever the merits of the nomination, the,
Republicans were not about to let Johnson fill,
a vacancy on the Supreme Court. A presiden-:
tial election was coming up and the
Democrats were in trouble.
Led by former Sen. Robert Griffin of
Michigan, the GOP launched a filibusters
which the Democrats could not crack despite,
several attempts. Johnson was forced toy
withdraw the nomination.4
wFortas retained his seat until he was forced-
to resign; Thornberry never left home; and
Richard Nixon named the new chief justice.
Senate Republicans now number 41, enough
to keep a filibuster going. And some conser-
vative Democrats would probably become;
silent partners.
Carter appears to be in a no-win-
situation-unless he is re-elected.

R ARELY DOES a movie shown on
campus stir controversy. Last
weekend's showing of the X-rated film,
"The Opening of Misty Beethoven,"
was an exception. More than 25 people
handed out leaflets urging people not to
see the film because it perpetuates the
dehumanization of all individuals.
Their contention has some validity.
Many pornographic films display con-
tinual oppressior of women which of-
ten spread throughout society, and
don't just remain in the theater. A lot
of- other movies-with different
ratings-illustrate similar tendencies.
Nobody is sure how dangerous these
movies are to thepopulace. Attitudes
toward sex and human relations come
from a multitude of sources, and the
cinema world is just one of them. But it
is clear that by expressing these views,
the pornographic industry is a key con-
tributor to their existence. Many
people see these movies and enough
would probably be influenced that
these levels of oppression apply in
everyday life. The danger is there, and
if the modern levels of oppression and
dehumanization are to ever disappear,
people will have to start understanding
the ideas in such films.
By informing those who attended of
the movie's underlying theme which
exists in many X-rated films, the group
of protesters served an important role,
for only by notification can people
learn about these ideas. Many go to
pornographic films without ever
thinking twice about the movies' im-
Yet, at the same time, the protesters

played more than just the role of the in-
formers. They went beyond that by
trying to persuade people to not see the
picture. Though in a quiet and peaceful
manner, this type of persuasion is an
unhealthy element in society. It seeks
to dictate one group's morality to the
majority of people. One group says this
movie-or any free expression of art
and culture-is bad for you and wants
everyone else to agree. The other
group may resist, but if the protesters
garner enough support, most likely the
movie will not return next year.
If those who 'protested this past
weekend succeed and the movie fails to
come back to campus, that would be
also an unfortunate development. It
would have almost the same impact as
a censorship law. For while those who
wanted to show the movie would still
have the right under the U.S. Con-
stitituion, a smaller attendance would
effectively convince them to show the
movie elsewhere. That applies to most
pornographic films and other movies
showing the similar kinds of op-
pression and dehumanization. Their
ideas may perpetuate the problems of
many of today's human relationships,
but they have the right to express
them. Not only should there be no for-
mal law against that constitutional
privilege, but there must also be no
widespread movement or call for
people to stop attending X-rated or
other kinds of films. The expression of
art and culture-including books,
magazines, etc.-in this country is
recognized as a crucial right, and can
not be eliminated, or even tarnished.

Spacy Jane

By Tom Steve





c.t -7

Letters to

Th..e Daily

r ,


To the Daily:
At the risk of seeming like
some blankity blank blank
Democrat, my presence at
Senator Kennedy's nationally
televised Georgetown University
speech should not be construed as
anything other than an analyzed,
well-thought-out faux pax. Hey,
how am I gonna know what's
going on in the enemy camp if I
don't indulge in a little covert un-
der-cover surveillance! Besides,
it would have been a real over-
sight if I hadn't taken advantage
of the free publicity too.
Love and Roses,
Richard Robinson
To the Daily:
Ther withholding of federal
Medicaid funding for elective
abortions has significant
ramifications in other areas.
There are racist or social class
implications of our nation having
-different standards for the poor,
the young and the minorities than
for their more fortunate counter-
parts. Though we claim to
provide good health care for
those who cannot afford it, abor-
tion is an exception. We have
seen the results of pregnancies
carried to term by teenaged girls

abuse or neglect these children.
Sometimes the child is shunted
around from one caretaker to
another and suffers irreparable
psychological damage in the
ability to relate to other human
beings. Such mothers may
desperately seek a partner to
help care for the child, but such
pressured relationships are often
unstable and unsatisfactory to
both mother- and child. And our
social agencies, set up to
protect and assist such disadvan-
taged women and their children
are usually overloaded and under
funded. Even adoption and foster
care arrangements become
problematic at times with
custody disputes seriously
delaying permanent placement.
Unless we change our priorities
as a nation to better support these
children, is it fair to force them
into our hostile world without
love, concern and protection?
Michael R. Liepman,.M.D..
Marcia K. Liepman, M.D.
To the Daily: "
Chad Green, a three-year-old,
died of leukemia last week in
Mexico. His parents had taken
him off conventional cancer
treatments nine months before
and he was being treated with

79 to 22 vote. As chair of Health
and Social Services I undertook a
serious study of the bill, and at an
impartial public hearing we took
testimony from physicians,
pharmacists, Food and Drug
Administration officials, and'
from cancer patients.
I was particularly moved by
the testimony of Dr. Marilyn Slot-
feld, a Mott Children's Hospital
pharmacist. She described
several young children stricken
with cancer who were taken off
effective treatment because
Laetrile proponents had offered
them a cure. Most returned to the,
hospital months later, much
more ill than before and often
beyond medical help.-The com-
mittee voted to defeat the bill.
Some of my Senate colleagues
discussed the possibility of
discharging the bill from my
committee and attempts were
made by both the House and
Senate to attach the Laetrile
issue to other legislation. I led the
fight against such actions and I
believe my arguments turned the
tide against Laetrile and preven-
ted it from being legalized in this
state. I believe it would have been
a tragedy for this state to get in
the business of legitimizing the
exploitation of those suffering

tion, this belief has become law
through recent Congressional Ac-
tion. The Beard Amendment
allows employers to refuse
coverage for abortion services in'
their health insurance policies
while allowing a woman to choose
sterilization or childbirth under
that same policy.
The Hyde Amendment, whicl
applies to Medicaid recipients;
prohibits abortion except for rape
or incest victims who report
promptly (within 60 days) to law
enforcement agency or public
health agency; to save the life of
a woman; and if severe and
longlasting physical healtl
damage would result from child-
This means indigent childreo
who are victims of rape and ini
cest may not receive a funded
abortion of they or their parents
don't know or understand the
Many persons opposed'td
freedom of choice maintain that
if women would use birth control;
there would be no need for abora
tion. However, even whem used
perfectly, all contraceptive
methods fail occasionally. In a'
one year survey of couples trying
to prevent pregnancy, four in 10Q
using the Pill had unwantei


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