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July 06, 1998 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1998-07-06

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 6, 1998
Edited and managed by CHRis FARAH DAVID WALLACE
students at the Editor in Chief Editorial Page Editor
University of Michigan NhL
420Mayar Stee ~ tniest otherwise itoted ttnsignt d editonialpoltiearwi i$nf
420 M ay nard wt r Utnl<orit the Dai o editorial board.Altoter arties, leters and
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109 aeatsdo not necessariyrefle t the opinion of The MichigaotDaily:

F or years Bo Schembechler roamed
the sidelines at Michigan Stadium,
solidifying the program's status as one
of the country's best. ie left the game as
Michigan's winningest coach, with a
record of 194-48-5 and 10 Rose Bowl
trips. Since he left his familiar coaching
position, the man affectionately known
simply as "Bo" has worked to make the
University tops in another field:
researching and treating adrenal cancer.
Schembechler deserves to be applauded
for his efforts after his coaching career
as much as he was for winning football
games.
Schembechler's itterest in adrenal
cancer began under tragic circum-
stances. In 1992, his wife, Millie, was
diagnosed with the rare, devastating ill-
ness. She died later that year. Through
their efforts to find the best treatments
available, they became aware of the
severe shortage of money researchers in
the field faced.
For the last six years, Schembechler

Bo knows
Schembechler raises money for cancer research

has worked to raise money for a fund set
up at the University in his wife's name.
The Millie Schembechler Adrenal
Cancer Research Fund is rapidly
approaching its goal of $3.5 million.
The main money-makers for the fund
have come in the form of a celebrity golf
tournament, which in previous years has
brought in a total of $1.3 million.
Participants, many of whom are former
athletes from the University, contribute
between $1,250 to $2,500 to be in the
tournament. This year marks the sixth
year the tournament has been held. After
this year's tournament, which is held
today at 10 a.m., only two more should
be needed to reach the $3.5 million goal.
The tournament is open to the public,
for a donation of $10 for adults and $5

for children 14 and under. People with
the means to contribute would be hard
pressed to find a better way to spend a
few dollars.
Diseases such as adrenal cancer
require exorbitant sums of money for
research in hopes of finding effective
treatments and ultimately a cure.
Furthermore, many diseases such as this
form of cancer do' not receive a suffi-
cient amount of funding compared with
more high-profile afflictions like heart
disease and AIDS. Special benefactors
like Schembechler can make a differ-
ence in these cases.
Schembechler deserves a great deal
of credit for using his celebrity status in
a focused effort to gather the funding he
has already amassed and continues to

amass. Many celebrities could use a les-
son from the coach regarding how to use
their special status in a selfless manner.
Schembechler's fund-raising efforts
demonstrate a touching commitment to I
Millie and the University. Now that his
coaching days have ended,
Schembechler still seeks to make the
University the best in the country -
now in a different field. And he serves
Millie's memory well by raising aware-
ness of the disease that claimed her and
continues to claim others.
In order to effectively battle diseases
like adrenal cancer, researchers need
public support. Schembechler's golfe
tournament provides an opportunity to
contribute to a worthy cause and be
entertained at the same time. And his
tournament demonstrates well that
efforts needed to raise money for
research can be successful. Although
Schembechler has not coached a game
since the 1990 Rose Bowl, le still con-
tinues to win.

Less stringent
State eases harsh life imprisonment drug law
F or 20 years, the state of Michigan after 15 years in prison. The Senate
has had one of the most severe anti- passed a somewhat similar bill that
drug laws in the country. The "drug lifer makes parole a bit harder to attain.
law," as it is known, has long been criti- That both houses agree the law needs
cized for its ineffectiveness, and the changing is encouraging. Even better,
Michigan Legislature has done well in the vote was a rather overwhelming,
substantially weakening the law recent- bipartisan 77-26. Now the two houses
ly. must work out a compromise.
The drug lifer law came into effect in The Senate would do well to accept
1978 as a means of punishing drug king- the House's bill. Since it is clear that
pins. The law called for anyone convict- many of those in prison under the law
ed of possessing 650 grams or more of should not serve a life sentence, making
cocaine or heroin, with intent to deliver, parole difficult to achieve does not make
to be sentenced to life imprisonment sense. Many of those in jail now deserve
without parole. No exceptions. a second chance to live a productive life
This kind of mandatory minimum in society. Certainly those in the drug
sentencing restricts judges from using trade should not go unpunished, but
the discretion residents of the state first-time offenders and other small-
charge their justices with. Laws such as scale lawbreakers should not be made to
the drug lifer law do not take into rot in prison all of their days. The prison
account the circumstances of the system exists under the philosophy that
offense. Judges need to be able to make it can reform criminals and return them
their decisions based on the evidence to society. The drug lifer law stands in
they hear. contrast to this idea.
And circumstances were predomi- Some convicts serving a sentence
nantly at issue with the drug lifer law. under the drug lifer law will be eligible
While designed to punish drug lords, the for parole as soon as both houses settle
overwhelming majority of people sen- on a compromise. This will free up jail
tenced under the law were very low- space for other, more dangerous crimi-
ranking members of the drug trade. nals. During a time when jail space is in
Most were simple couriers -. known as short supply, the drug lifer law only adds
"mules" - transporting the drugs. Few further complications to an overbur-
large-scale distributors of illegal nar- dened system.
cotics were ever sentenced under the Common sense needs to dictate the
law. efforts made to combat the flow of
As a further illustration of the law's drugs. Throwing away the lives of
general ineffectiveness, only about 220 everyone caught with a certain amount
people were convicted under the law in of certain types of drugs simply is not
the years it has been on the books. logical. By adopting the House bill, the
The new revision suggested by the state can once again allow the justice
House makes convicts serving life sen- system to exercise the discretion expect-
tences under the law eligible for parole ed of it.

Restored balance
Court rules line-item veto is unconstitutional
rT he U.S. Supreme Court recently tion now that the line-item veto is gone -
I struck down the line-item veto power should be voted out of office by the elec-
given to the president in 1996. This abili- torate.
ty, bestowed upon the presidency by The line-item veto also, in effect,
Congress, clearly violated the allowed the president to censure individ-
Constitution's balance of power among the ual members of Congress. The presidents
branches of the federal government. With could eliminate single appropriations a
this ruling, the court made the correct particular lawmaker or group of lawmak-
decision to restore Congressional power to ers worked to include in legislation. With
the level originally intended by the such power, the president silenced the
framers of the Constitution. constituencies these lawmakers repre-
The line-item veto allowed the presi- sent.
dent to sign a statute into law and then take The Constitution formed the govern-
out certain provisions of the legislation ment so that no one person can determine
within a five-day period after signing. the course of legislation. The president's
Congress gave this power to the presiden- job is not to write legislation; theG
cy through the Line-Item Veto Act in Constitution's first article gives that power
1996. The original intentions of the bill to Congress. Legislation is submitted to
were noble: with this power, the president the president for approval -- not for pres-
could remove wasteful spending of tax idential editing. The passage the court
dollars from legislation. But the line-item quoted in its decision states that "Every
veto essentially gives the president the bill which shall have passed the House of
ability to rewrite legislation, as opposed to Representatives and the Senate, shall,
his Constitutional job of final approval. before it become a Law, be presented to
Last year, President Clinton used the the President of the United States; If he
line-item veto 82 times. His actions approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall
angered many, especially lawmakers sup- return it, with his Objections to the House*
porting military construction projects that in which it shall have originated ..."
were canceled. Also, critics in support of In light of this passage, the line-item
the line-item veto complained when veto clearly steps outside the guidelines
Clinton eased his use of the power, per- set up by the framers. As the Supreme
mitting more pork barrel legislation to go Court ruled, Congress can only alter the
through. In all, Congress brought back 38 president's power regarding legislative text
of Clinton's line-item vetoes as separate through a constitutional amendment.
bills. The Supreme Court performed its duty
Lawmakers should work to eliminate of upholding the Constitution in ruling
wasteful, pork barrel legislation. But against the line-item veto. The framers se'
instead of the line-item veto, our elected up a careful balance of power so that no
representatives should take the initiative single branch could wield power over the
and check their own spending. Those law- others. This ruling ensures that all legisla-
makers who cannot resist the temptation tive power belongs to Congress, as the
- and there will be even greater tempta- Constitution provides.

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