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July 01, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-07-01

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420 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Edited and managed by students at the
University o Michigan
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual
opinions of the author. This must be noted in all reprints.
Thursday, July 1, 1971 News Phone: 764-0552
Justice and the law
TWO IMPORTANT court decisions yesterday suggest
that the U.S. system of government may be better
than many critics have conceded.
In Washington, the Supreme Court put an end to the
Nixon administration's attempt to hold back the truth
about Vietnam from the people of the United States.
By a decisive 6-3 vote, the court freed the Washington
Post and New York Times from all restraint in publish-
ing the Pentagon papers that detail U.S. involvement in
Vietnam. An important precedent has been set for any
future clashes between press and government.
The court found that the government had failed to
show any justification for restricting the two papers.
"The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the
expense of informed representative government provides
no real security for our republic," explained Associate
Justice Hugo Black, the senior member of the court.
THE ATTACK on the freedom of the press guaranteed
by the First Amendment has ended in a humiliating de-
feat for Nixon and Atty. Gen. John Mitchell.
Most important, it was not partisan politics, personal
liberalism, or anti-war spirit that motivated the Supreme
Court. It was the First Amendment, as written nearly 200
years ago.
And in Detroit, there was another proof of the via-
bility of at least some of the system. A jury, for once of
real peers, has returned what must be considered a fair
verdict in the trial of 12 Black Panthers accused of
murdering a police officer and then conspiring to murder
police in the siege of the Panther house that followed the
THE JURY of 10 blacks and two white found all 12
defendants innocent of the murder and of the con-
spiracy. The conspiracy charge was based largely on
Panther literature and on the presence of weapons in
the Panther house.
Three Panthers were convicted of felonious assault,
but they were the three who chose not to surrender and
continued a shootout with police.
AFTER THE TRIAL defense attorney Ernest Goodman
agreed it was fair. That fairness can be directly at-
tributed to an appeals court decision last year that re-
formed Detroit's jury selection system. Before then, the
young, the long-haired, the poor and others, often blacks,
were systematically excluded.
Since then, some judges and prosecutors have com-
plained that it has become difficult to win cases. But the
Panther trial emphasizes the possibility of fairness in,
the U.S. jury system as it, was conceived.,
Like the Supreme Court, the Detroit jury strove to
follow the law, to acquit when there was reasonable'
doubt. The two cases suggest that it is often our officials,
like Nixon or the prosecutor in Detroit, who are at fault,
and not our laws.

Vote at 18: Register

ALTHOUGH high-ranking Repub-
licans have publicly derided
and downgraded the spreading
movement to enroll young antiwar
voters, they may have already be-
gun to have second thoughts about
the impact of the drive.
Indeed the full story of what
happened in Indiana in connection
with the "Register for Peace" rally
in Indianapolis May 22 suggests
both the potential of the campaign
and the desperation tactics already
employed to combat it.
WHAT MADE Indianapolis so
important a testing-ground was
that neithersthe city nor the state
had previously been the scene of
any major antiwar activity. That
was a major reason why Ameri-
cans for Democratic Action chair-
man Allard Lowenstein and his
associates in the anti-Nixon, peace-
registration project were elated
when a number of diverse groups-
including some labor unions as well
as many college and high school
spokesmen-agreed to sponsor an
assemblage there.
Three weeks before the sched-
uled event, an application for a
permit to conduct the demonstra-
tion on the State House Plaza was
duly filed. For more than two
weeks there was no response to re-
peated inquiries.
Then, just two days before the
meeting was to be held, the Indi-
ana committee was abruptly in-
formed by Republican Gov. Edgar
Whitcomb that it would have to put
up a $50,000 bond and also assume
unlimitedtliability forrany damage.
The state police radio began
broadcasting bulletins warning
that any hitchhikers headed for
Indianapolis would be detained un-
til they received "FBI clearance."
THE RALLY'S promoters knew
they could not meet the proposed
financial conditions. The State Di-
rector of Administration moved
for an injunction to enforce the
terms and thwarttheicounter-
moves being made by Civil Liber-
ties Union attorneys. The State
Supreme Court ,split 2-2 on the is-
sue (and its fifth member could
not be located).
As the tension increased, David
Allison of the Ripon Society finally
brought the news that Mayor- Rich-
ard Lugar had agreed informally
to let the demonstrators gather in
the military park 500 yards off the
plaza. After three long hours of
negotiation with the Mayor and
the Police Chief (named Winston
Churchill), the accord provided that
there would be no official permit
issued, but there would be tacit
assurance of nonintervention -
with a stipulation barring the use
of obscenities or Viet Cong flags.
- In fact the setting of those
ground rules seemed chiefly de-
signed to fortify the State Direc-
tor's fraudulent charge that the
movement was linked to the "May-
day Tribe."
THE PRE-RALLY hysteria un-
doubtedly- reduced attendance;

many high school delegations
stayed away after the intercession
of anxious parents. Nevertheless a
crowd estimated at 3500 did as-
semble to hear a long roster of
speakers, including Charles Good-
ell, Rep. William Anderson (D-
Tenn.), local Democratic and
UAW officials and others.
What was most remarkable,
however, was the response to the
on-the-spot registration appeal.
More than 2000 of those present
signed up - a number described
by local politicos as the largest
single exercise of that sort ever
held in the state. The registration
was overwhelmingly Democratic.
Perhaps even more important, as
Lowenstein and 28-year-old Nick
Littlefield, a Wall Street lawyer
now on half-time leave to coordi-
-nate the operation, emphasized
yesterday, the ensuing reactions
Letters to The Daily should
be mailed to the Editorial Di-
rector or delivered to Ma y
Rafferty in the Student Pub-
lications business office in the
Michigan Daily building. Let-
ters should be typed, double-
spaced and normally sshould
not exceed 250 words. The
Editorial Directors reserve the
right to edit all letters sub-
have been warmly favorable and
further rallies are being planned in
that state. The "backlash" back-
ON THE DAY after the Indiana-
polis rally, the widely-publicized
Minneapolis session occurred, with

for peace
25,000 jamming the local skating
rink and thousands more assem-
bled outside. Since registration was
not permitted on the scene, the
throng was urged to sign individual
pledge cards promising to enroll;
more than 22,000 did so.
While Sen. McCarthy's qualified
third-party threat won the largest
headlines, the most sustained,
standing ovation came, according
to Littlefield, when Lowenstein de-
'We are not Democrats using
Republicans. We are not Repub-
licans using Democrats. We. are
Americans using the electoral pro-
cess to end the war and reclaim
this country."
Other rallies are already being
organized in California, Oregon and
Mississippi, and few states will be
overlooked in the coming months.
Working with limited funds, the
crusade will rely heavily on ad hoc
community activities triggered by
the larger events. But at least 50
full-time "interns" will work in key
No candidate can claim to own
the enterprise; there is a concerted
effort being made to secure bipar-
tisan representation at the public
affairs and to provide a hearing
for all prospective candidates. The
unifying theme is to end the war
now and pave the way for the elec-
tion of a progressive President. But
when 3000 students can be inducd
to register on a single occasion at
Long Beach (Cal.) College-no hot-
bed of activism-something has
already begun to happen. At this
juncture there is no livelier politi-
cal action on any front.
O New York Post



"Has Attorney General Mitchell
OK'd these ... .

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