Lubell Twins Pressured From Top 'Record' Jobs
Twins Resign After 'Record' Staff, Alumni Turn on Squeeze; Faculty Ponders Action
David L. and Jonathan W. Lubell 2L resigned last week from their positions on the Law School Record as a result of pressure from members of the paper's staff and threats of possible withdrawal of alumni support of the weekly.
The Law School faculty, meanwhile, has postponed decision on what, if any, action it will take against the Lubells. The matter came up for lengthy discussion at a faculty meeting Tuesday. A two-thirds vote is necessary for the dismissal of a student from the school.
The twin brothers invoked the Fifth Amendment in testimony before the Jenner Committee on Thursday and Friday, March 26 and 27. They refused to answer questions about Communist organizing activities at Cornell, New York, and the Law School, on the grounds that it might tend to incriminate them.
David Lubell resigned from the post of President of the Record and Jonathan from the Associate Editorship, to which they had been recently elected.
Lewis New President
Herbert D. Lewis 2L was elected President and Burton T. Gans 2L Associate Editor to replace them.
The resignations came after three special meetings and a week of often bitter wrangling among members of the Record.
On Wednesday, March 25, before the Jenner hearings, the Record decided by a margin of one vote to withdraw announcement of the Lubell's election from the next day's issue.
The editors were forced to delay distribution of the paper until Friday and to substitute for the election story a four-year-old article comparing the Harvard and Yale Law Schools.
Vote Down Dismissal
The Record called a second special meeting Sunday evening, after the hearings, at which the brothers placed their resignations on the table. The board voted, after three and a half hours of heated debate, to accept their resignations from their executive posts. The staff, however, turned down a proposal that the Lubells be immediately thrown off the paper.
In the next three days considerable pressure was brought on the Lubells to get them to quit the paper completely. It was also intimated that several important members of the Law School faculty were disturbed by the closeness of the two previous votes.
Another key factor was the proximity of the annual spring meeting of the Law School Alumni Association, at which it will decide whether or not to renew its annual contract to buy over 6,000 copies of the Record each week for mailing to alumni.
Several members of the Association have complained about this expenditure in the past. It was feared that if the Lubells stayed on the Record, the Alumni might decide that they could spend their money more wisely in other ways.
Quit Paper Completely
The Lubells decided to resign from the staff on Tuesday. This decision was accepted without much argument the next day, at a staff meeting called specifically to elect a new President and Associate Editor.
The Lubells explained, in a letter published in last week's Record, that they were resigning in order "to see the Record continue to exist as the newspaper of the law students serving the Law School and to continue to express itself forthrightly on all matters, including academic freedom."
(Senator Jenner and Robert Morris, counsel for the investigating committee, had emphasized an editorial in the Record, which the Lubells had helped to write, attacking Congressional investigations into universities.)
Record States Its Stand
In an editorial last week, the Record said, "Refusal to answer questions as to present activities . . . implies directly or indirectly that the Record has in some way sheltered such activities, or fostered views that we find abhorrent.
"That implication cannot be permitted, or this paper cannot survive. Nor would it deserve to continue publication if our readers had even a lurking suspicion that our news is colored or our editorials not the expression of attitudes we believe proper for a democracy . . ."
While their status in the Law School remains in doubt, the Lubells intend to complete their studies and to seek admission to the New York State Bar.
Practice May Be Impossible
Prevailing opinion among faculty members, however, is that their refusal to testify before the Senate Committee will prevent their acceptance by any bar association in the country.
As to the hearings themselves, the Lubell's only comment is that the only reason for their being called before the public session was to harass them and to gain publicity for Committee members.
They stated that there was no substantial difference between their testimony at the Thursday executive session and the Friday public session, except that in the latter the Committee avoided questions the Lubells had been answering Thursday and repeated the ones they had not