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August 03, 1979 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-08-03

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Page 4-Friday, August 3, 1979-The Michigan Daily
SMichigan Daily,
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom
42OMovnard St. An Arbor. MI. 48109
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 58-S News Phone: 764 0 1
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Mirhigan
'U' should not
limit legal aid
T HE ADMINISTRATION'S recommendation to
prevent Student Legal Services from defen-
ding a student in a case initiated by the University
undermines the purpose of mandatory fees to fund
student services.
Two years ago, the students voted to implement
a mandatory fee of $2.92 per student per term for
the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA). Of this
amount, $1.74 was slated for Student Legal Ser-
vices.
The University Board of Regents approved the
vote at that time. But now some Regents, Student
Services Vice-President Henry Johnson, and
other administrators are favoring a plan to
abolish one of the most important functions of
Student Legal Services, that is, to provide for the
defense of students in a University-initiated
lawsuit.
If this ban is implemented, the point of a
student-funded legal-service will be lost. A student
who must go to outside sources for legal help, will
be paying twice for legal aid - aid which is sup-
posed to be automatic for students.
University General Counsel Roderick Daane
has suggested that once students pay a man-
datory fee, the money becomes University
money. But these fees have been earmarked to
provide students free legal service. The Regents
must not infringe on students' right to utilize it
fully.
Also, any money applied toward MSA and
Student Legal Services comes from the students'
own pockets: Students are paying for specific ser-
vices that include legal aid for students wherever
and whenever it is needed.
The Regents plan to discuss at their September
meeting whether Student Legal Services should
remain under the auspices of the Office of Student
Services or under Daane's office. The
organization is governed by a board of directors
composed primarily of students. This type of
autonomy could be lost, and the legal service
could become another arm of the University, if
the office falls under Daane's jurisdiction.
The Regents must remember the students voted
that this mandatory fee be spent on Student Legal
Services; their right to legal assistance in any
case should not be revoked.
SUMMER EDITORIAL STAFF
ELIZABETH SLOWIK
Editor-in-Chief
JUDY RAKOWSKY......................... Editorial Director
JPSHUA PECK......ArtsEditor
' BUSINESS STAFF
LISA CULBERSON ........................Rusiness Manager
ArI LENESIRY. N..,.. ................. ales Manager
BETH BASLER...... .. Classified Manager
iE TE tl ERi $ l.l. .... . . ..ia i dr I g -rad natr
PANTEP ET lF ..-, . , t - erlta C d~etot

Diggs should have been expelled

RY TO IMAGINE this
T scenario on a hot, humid
day in Washington.
Richard Nikon, watching his
presidency slide down the drain,
comes to the conclusion that
there may be one last chance to
save his job.
.Always the shrewd politician,
Nixon decides he'll apologize to
Congress and the American
people for the crimes he commit-
ted. He believes an admission of
guilty may rescue him from the
Watergate Titantic.
A STUNNED nation watches
as Nixon entered the House
chambers to make his apology.
After speaker Tip O'Neill reads a
document signed by all 435 mem-
bers censuring the president,
Nixon rises and delivers his
speech.
"I uh admit that I uh . -.
(tears start to flow down his red
cheeks, after all Nixon's not used to
this) that I uh violated the trust of
the American people. I am truly
soorr and upset and I pledge to
pay our nation back with all my
power."
The president receives a stan-
ding ovation as he leaves the
room. Rep. Peter Rodino, chair-
man of the House Judiciary
Committee, announces the com-
mittee has ended its hearings on
impeachment against the
president.
"THERE'S NO NEED for it
now, the president has apologized
and it's time we should start
over."
Everyone cheers. The case is
closed. Nixon goes back to work
the following day, secure for
another two years.
A likely scene? Perhaps not for
the president of the United,
States, but how about for a small
and powerful congressman from
Michigan. well, a similar scene
occurred this week.
Congressman Charles Diggs
(D-Detroit) convicted of padding
his payroll and taking kickbacks
from his staff, agreed to make a
deal to save his political career.
He decided to exchange an ad-
mission of wrongdoing and a
pledge to pay back the $40,000 to
s C
SIR -I
EvERYTHIN WAS
DECIOE FO ME
c --
COLLEE, LAW
SCHOOL --- AD
IHM TO MY DA SS
FIRM. CO?!cNoP
JRZYT UKtTAV

By MICHAEL ARKUSH
the U.S. Tresury for a chance to
stay in office until his appeal is
decided.
THE HOUSE ETHICS Commit-
tee which negotiated the deal,
agreed to recommend to the full
House that Diggs be censured in-
stead of expelled.
Upset by this obvious partisan
maneuver, the House
Republicans brought an ex-
plusion motion to the floor, but it
was defeated. There were just too
many representatives who felt
the deal was appropriate.
Diggs, therefore, had been
saved by the kindness of his
colleagues and their realization
that he has been such a com-
petent and effective leader
during his 13-term tenure in
Congress.
THIS IS NOT justice, however.
Justice is not served when a
public official is allowed to
remain in office after he has been
convicted of taking kickbacks for
himself. At the very least, that is
clear violation of the public trust.
Furthermore, it is a violation of
federal law-a crime for which
any common offender would
spend several years in prison.
But, as Diggs' defenders and
many civil libertarians point out,
he should stay in office because
he was re-elected last November
even though his constituents
knew of the charges against him.
If the people want him in office
even though he is a criminal, it is
their right, his supporters insist.
WELL) I FOOND THE
SLILODI4AND M O
THE ROOM... AND
ThERE 15 NO OE KiE.
SO KMUC FOTHIT
SCHEDULE.
STLLIe NT NO
IiO1a)TO M Y FO
SiG
FOR C1WAW, 'M -21AN
c. C A
STILL 1 Do OT MOW
FIRST MAJOR
. E M M 'DE

IT MUST BE remembered,
however, that Charles Diggs does
not only represent Detroit,
Michigan. His votes affect every
city and county in the nation on
such issues as revenue sharing,
busing, and education.
To let him vote on those issues
is a clear miscarriage of justice.
He got off easily because he's
powerful and has been around a
long time. He's got many friends
on Capitol Hill, and with the
numerous incidents of corruption
there, what congressman wants
to setaprecedent of explusion?
Who knows who could be next?
It's no wonder then, why Jim-
my Carter said there's a crisis of
confidence in the nation. First
there was Wilbur Mills, then
Wayne Hays, Daniel Flood,
Joshua Eilberg, the Koreagate
incident, Herman Tallmadge,
and now Charles Diggs. And who
knows how many others haven't
been caught.
Expelling Diggs would be one
measure to restore the people's
confidence in that branch of
government.
But, if any further cases of
corruption are found, Congress
members have nothing to worry
about. All they have to do is plea
bargain, say their sorry, and
Congress is sure to forget it.
But what about the American
people? Will they forget it?
Michael Arkssh is the Daiy
Editorial Director during the regu/ar
academic year.
I WONPeR WAT
ELSE CAN HAPPeNe
HEY MAN... CMON.
IT CAOT 8E ThAT
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AHBUT ITCANNOO
SEE, ! AM A MANi
WHO W3 M wMDE
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141 ENTRE LFE
HAVS A
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iic
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