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Law Students Back Busing in Plea to Levi

Urge Attorney General Not to Alter Court's Plan

By Mark T. Whitaker

Student body representatives at the Law School last week wrote letters to U.S. Attorney General Edward H. Levi urging him not to intervene in Boston's court-ordered busing program, a move Levi has reportedly been discussing with President Ford.

The Law School Council, which contains 15 students elected at large from the law student body, told Levi in a telegram sent last Thursday that justice department action would be seen as federal support for city busing opponents.

"We fear that your intervention would be widely interpreted as support for those who would deny children their constitutional rights and would further encourage the disruptions and ugly racial incidents which have scarred the city's recent racial history," the telegram said.

Meldon S. Hollis, president of the Law School Council, said yesterday that only one of the 13 council members who voted on the telegram refused to endorse it.

Unusual Action

"It is unusual that so many student representatives would be willing to take this kind of social action," Hollis said.

Charles E. Bachman, chairman of the Law School's Board of Student Advisors, and Laurie D. Zelon, editor of the Harvard-based Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Review, said yesterday they also gave Hollis support for the telegram.

Harvard's Black Law Students Association (BALSA) has also sent a letter to Levi, making a similar plea for the federal government not to intervene.

Theodore R. Laster, president of BALSA, said yesterday he felt it was ironic that students who have been told repeatedly that violence is not the answer might now see the government yield to anti-busing violence.

In response to a request by the Harvard chapter, the national board of BALSA has also sent Levi a comparable letter, Laster said.

Faculty Position

Albert M. Sacks, dean of the Law School, said yesterday that the students notified him in advance of their intention to write Levi, and that he told them that it was "up to them to decide what was appropriate."

The Law School Faculty "would not take a position on an issue outside the Law School as a faculty," Sacks said, but he added that several law professors have said they might try to discourage Levi "in a private way."

Sacks declined to name any of these professors, however, and several law professors contacted yesterday said that, although they do not want to see the government step into the Boston busing dispute, they have not taken any such action.

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