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Law School Faculty Split On Haynsworth Nomination


Members of the Faculty of Law are divided on whether Judge Clement F. Haynsworth should be confirmed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. But most of those who agreed to express an opinion said they are opposed to confirmation of the nomination.

Answers to a CRIMSON poll ranged from that of James Vorenberg '48, professor of Law, who said Haynsworth's is "a thoroughly undistinguished appointment," to that of Harold J. Berman, professor of Law, who said Haynsworth "is a very honest and intelligent judge."

Alan M. Dershowitz, professor of Law, said Haynsworth "is not most qualified, and when coupled with other allegations, it is clear that President Nixon has acted irresponsibly in nominating him, first, and in not withdrawing the nomination after hearing the opinions of people in the legal profession."

Stephen G. Breyer '64, assistant professor of Law, said it is not improper for a Senator to oppose a nominee if he thinks the views of the nominee "are considerably out of line with public opinion, and where he is not distinguished in any way."

Undistinguished Appointment

Frank I, Michelman '60, professor of Law, said, "I have no reason on the basis of what I learned from others to consider the appointment a distinguished one. When law schools set a professorship, they choose a man for prospective distinction. I think we can expect Supreme Court justices to be chosen in the same way."

Andrew J. Casner '53. Weld Professor of Law, said Haynsworth "lacks a sensitivity that I think is necessary."

Abram Chayes '43, professor of Law, called Haynsworth "not really a man of intellectual caliber." Chayes said that Haynsworth appears to be more interested in "marginal activity"- outside financial activity- than in judging. Chayes added that Haynsworth's "views are more conservative than I like."

Adam Yarmolinsky '43, professor of Law, said he does not think that thecharges of conflict of interest that have been raised against Haynsworth are justified "in a technical sense." But he added that he is concerned about raising to the Supreme Court "a judge who's spent so much of his time and energy in managing his investments after coming to the bench."

Below Standards

Milton Katz '27, Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law, said, "I regret the nomination as falling below the standards that seem to me generally appropriate to the Supreme Court of the United States and especially important to maintain at the present time."

Louis L. Jaffe '28, Byrne Professor of Administrative Law, said it is valid to oppose Haynsworth on political grounds. He said the President is entitled to appoint a conservative, and the Senate is entitled to disapprove the nomination if it wishes. Jaffe added that the nomination is "unfortunate."

Donald F. Turner '43, professor of Law, agreed with Yarmolinsky that the charges of conflict of interest do not "disqualify him in an ethical sense, but if put in the context of the public's regard for the Court, there is a lot to be said for putting someone else on." Turner said he was undecided about voting for or against confirmation of the nomination.

Borderline Case

John H. Mansfield '52, professor of Law, is also undecided on the nomination. "As you read through the whole record," he said. "each case seems to be a borderline case, but one is left with the feeling: why was he involved in so many borderline cases?"

Berman, who said he thinks Haynsworth is an honest and intelligent judge, added, "I have a feeling Judge Haynsworth would decide on his legal opinions, not his prejudices." Berman said Haynsworth "would not have been my choice" but added "I'm inclined to think I'd vote to confirm."

William L. Bruce '46, vice dean of the Law School, said. "I probably would support his nomination in view of the fact that the President should have his man." He added, "My question is who would be the alternative to Haynsworth?"

Fifteen faculty members declined to comment, and 19 could not be reached.

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