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Courthouse Politics


By Paul K. Rowe

TO THE DISPLEASURE of many Marxists, the issues that confront the Supreme Court cannot easily be placed on a left-right continuum. The task of the high court's justices is to interpret the Constitution, not to overthrow it, and the appointment of a "left-leaning" justice, as The Crimson's editorial suggests, could have a detrimental effect on individual liberties.

What made the resignation of Justice William O. Douglas so lamentable was the loss of a strong advocate for the court's advances in the 1950s and early 1960s. The decisions that expanded the freedoms enjoyed by the press and increased the rights of the accused and of minority groups are all in danger of being revised.

The new justice must be committed to the preservation of the rules of the political game, interpreting as narrowly as possible the words, "Congress shall make no law abridging..." Both the left and the right should realize that a perversion of this standard for any group's exclusive benefit could easily be turned against it sometime later.

This article dissents from yesterday's editorial, "Ford's Court Choice," which said in part, "Ford should appoint a left-leaning" justice to fill Douglas's vacant seat.

Crimson editorial opinions, representing the views of a majority of the staff appear unsigned on the editorial page.

Minority opinions expressed at the editorial meetings appear on the editorial page under the designation, "Dissenting Opinion." All other pieces appearing on page two are signed and represent only the views of their authors.

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