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September 30, 2005 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-30

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NEWS

The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 30, 2005 - 7

the michigan daily

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ROBERTS
Continued from page 1
attended by the other justices. A formal
Supreme court ceremony was scheduled
for Monday, before the opening of the
term.
O'Connor, a moderate voice on the
Supreme Court and one of only two
women, is leaving after 24 years.
It is the first time in 34 years that a
president has had simultaneous high
court openings.
The president originally named
Roberts to succeed O'Connor in July.
Rehnquist's death led to the switch to
Roberts for the chief justice on Sept. 6.
O'Connor remains on the court until the
president selects a replacement and that
person is confirmed by the Republican-
controlled Senate.
The only justice not at the White
House was Antonin Scalia. He had a
previous engagement that could not be
broken, a court spokeswoman said.
According the Federalist Society
Web site, he was leading a two-day
seminar on the separation of powers in
Avon, Colo.
Not since John Marshall, confirmed
in 1801 at 45, has there been a younger
chief. Roberts is the first new Supreme
Court justice since 1994.
Before becoming a federal appeals
court judge, he was one of the nation's
best appellate lawyers, arguing 39 cases
- many in front of the same eight jus-
tices he will now lead as chief. He won
25 of those cases.
Under Roberts, the court will tackle
such issues as assisted suicide, cam-
paign finance law and abortion this year,
with questions about religion, same-sex
marriage, the government's war on ter-
rorism and human clonig looming in
the future.
Said Senate Majority Leader Bill
Frist, R-Tenn: "For many years to come,
long after many of us have left public
service, the Roberts court will be delib-
erating on some of the most difficult and
fundamental questions of U.S. law."
Twenty-two Democrats opposed
Roberts, saying he could turn out
to be as conservative as Scalia and
Clarence Thomas, the Supreme
Court anchors on the right.
"At the end of the day, I have too
many unanswered questions about
the nominee to justify confirm-
ing him to this lifetime seat," said
Democratic leader Harry Reid of
Nevada.
Anti-abortion and abortion rights
activists both have their hopes
pinned on Roberts, a former govern-
ment lawyer in the Reagan and first
Bush administrations.
While Roberts is solidly conser-
vative and his wife, Jane, volunteers
for Feminists for Life, both sides
were eager to see how he would vote
on abortion cases.
Roberts told senators during his
confirmation hearings that past
Supreme Court rulings carry weight,
including the Roe v. Wade decision
that legalized abortion in 1973.
He also said he agreed with the
1965 Supreme Court ruling in Gris-
wold v. Connecticut that established
the right of privacy in the sale and
use of contraceptives.
But he tempered that by saying
Supreme Court justices can overturn
rulings.
BYLAWS
Continued from page 1
ed the addition of the phrase "gender
identity and expression" to the bylaws.
The Michigan Student Assembly also
approved a resolution urging the regents
to amend the bylaws. Additionally, orga-
nizations such as the Office of Institu-
tional Equity, Stonewall Democrats and

the Wolverine Coalition have dedicated
significant time and energy toward the
cause. The Wolverine Coalition has col-
lected more than 1,000 signatures on a
petition calling for the amendment.
Kalra said that after attending regents'
meetings, she came to the conclusion
that the eight-member regent board is
split down the middle, with four regents
in support of the idea and four regents
against it. She expressed concern that
the board has been avoiding casting bal-
lots on the issue because the Regents
fear that approving such a resolution
would have a negative impact on their
future political careers.
The University has taken several
steps on the issue. In February of last
year, then-Provost Paul Courant sent
out a campuswide e-mail stating that
the University would not discriminate
based on gender identity. In the e-mail,
Courant wrote that the current prohibi-
tion against discrimination based on
sex implicitly includes prohibition of
discrimination based on gender identity
and expression. According to Courant,
the guidelines laid out in that memo
apply to the whole University.
"(The provost's statement) is the offi-
cial policy, and we expect everyone to
follow that policy," University spokes-
woman Julie Peterson said. "Now, the
University's focus is on making sure
that those commitments are implement-
ed, and that we live up to the promise

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LEO
Continued from page 1
and work with LEO before the issue is
resolved.
She also said LEO would be hold-
ing a membership meeting on Oct. 11
to inform the membership of its prog-
ress and determine what to do about
the administration's response to the
misclassification cases and the delay in
payments.
BIG EASY
Continued from page 1
17 centuries later, it became a tourist attrac-
tion with a discontinued heritage.
Even though the history of New Orleans
hasn't been buried, Powell and other speak-
ers emphasized the danger in allowing the
task of writing the city's future to be left to
those repairing Katrina's damage.
The idea that it could become an "adult
Disney World" was explored when several
audience members expressed concern that
privatization could harm New Orleans,
with contractors taking advantage of the
city's destruction for profit.
Kevin Gaines, director of the University's
Center for Afroamerican and African Stud-
ies, noted that the displaced people of the
region would not have much say in what the
city would become. He cited the ambiguous
status of their voting and property rights in
the city as reasons why they may not neces-
sarily have a say in what it becomes.
COURSES
Continued from page 1
get degrees in general areas of study, the
University hopes to allow undergraduates
to take advantage of the large number of
quality programs available.
"These are topics that no one depart-
ment at the University would be able to
study or teach," Hanlon said.
The idea of team teaching is not some-
thing new at the University. Ben a Van Der
Pluijm, a professor of geological sciences,
is the course director of a course called
Global Change. Global Change has been
a course at the University since 1992, and
Pluijm calls it a "success." He teaches the
course - which looks at the evolution of
the Earth's environment, the causes, the
potential effects and the role of humans -
with three other professors from a variety
of backgrounds: biology, the atmosphere
and the study of fresh water.
But Pluijjm is careful to say the rea-
son team-teaching works so well for his
course is because the material demands it.
The course covers a broad range of topics,
making it difficult for a single professor
- with a background in one area - to
teach the course alone. Pluijm said he is
not convinced that all courses could be
team taught.
"Team teaching itself should not be
something to pursue just for the sake of
team teaching," he said. "But as long as the
material stays seamless, they (the students)
find it enormously helpful."
Hanlon said the taskforce hopes
to look at the success of courses like
Global Change when deciding how
to spend its money. The money is to
be distributed over five years at the
discretion of the taskforce, and Han-
lon said the primary goal is to have
three new courses by then. He said
he did not know when the first course
approved by the taskforce would be
available.
Kalra, who spoke at last night's meet-
ing on behalf of the Stonewall Demo-
crats and the Wolverine Coalition, said
until the regents officially alters the
bylaws, further progress against dis-
crimination will be stunted. She added
that the University's policy needs to be
visible to be understood.
"When you think of the word 'sex,'
you don't think of gender identity and

gender expression - at least I don't,"
Kalra said. "Having a visible policy in
place is key to being able to educate
people about it. ... It's hard to teach
people about something they can't see."
Regent Rebecca McGowan (D-Ann
Arbor), who has appeared willing to
listen to LGBT concerns in the past,
said that until the administration gives
the regents a resolution to vote on, she
could not speculate as to the attitude of
the board.
Toy said it is urgent that the University
take action. He alluded to several acts of
violence against transgender individu-
als, ranging from hateful comments to a
murder three years ago on the outskirts
of the city. He added that transgender
people often face discrimination even
within the LGBT community. He advo-
cates changing the widely used acronym
LGBT, which stands for Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual and Transgender, to TBLG,
placing transgenders and bisexu-
als first in order to highlight their
importance.
"The last shall be first," Toy said,
quoting the New Testament of the
Bible.
He added that it was especially
important for the bylaws to include
the phrase "gender identity and
expression" in addition to "sexual
orientation" and "sex" because trans-
gender people face the most intense
discrimination of any in the LGBT

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