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Court Allows Students to Vote, Postpones Hearing on Lawsuit


Somerville Court Judge Edward H. Bennett '37, yesterday postponed hearings on a lawsuit filed on behalf of two Harvard students who were denied the right to vote in Cambridge, but ordered that the Election Commission allow the students to vote in today's election.

The ballots of Celestine E. Bohlen '73, Philip Haas '76 and two MIT students will be impounded after they are cast. They will not be opened unless one of the elections to which they apply is close enough to be affected by them.

A court spokesman, Francis P. Burns said yesterday that it the ballots must be opened. Bennett will convenc the court and "make a speedy decision on the case to see it the ballots should be counted."

The lawsuit filed by Civil Liberties Union lawyer John Reinstein, asks the court to rule that Cambridge must register any eligible student voter who considers Cambridge to be his place of residence. Bennett postponed the trial until both sides have time to prepare their testimonies.

Last night, John Brode '52 said that he is preparing to seek an injunction from the Somerville Court to allow 22 other students to vote in Cambridge today under the same provisions as set forth in Bennett's order.

Philip S. Shaw will be the attorney for today's case.

No "Class Action Case"

Reinstein and Brode indicated last week that Bennett would make any decision on the lawsuit a "class action case." This would have meant that similar cases could be resolved according to the original one and would not have to be brought before the court.

"Since the Judge only ruled on the four nothing in the decision allows us to permit the other people to vote," Burns said yesterday.

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