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Carter Rumored To Offer Justice Spot To Former Overseer Wade McCree

By Deborah Gelin

A former Harvard overseer who is reportedly President-elect Carter's top candidate for deputy attorney general said yesterday he would prefer to be named solicitor general, the third top spot in the Justice Department.

Federal Court of Appeals Judge Wade H. McCree, Jr. said he would prefer Carter give him the solicitor general spot rather than the number two Justice post because "the solicitor plays a major role in determining governmental policy and involves fewer administrative functions."

Some view the consideration of McCree, who is black, as a move by Carter to placate liberal and minority criticism of Attorney General designate Griffin Bell. Bell's membership in white-restricted clubs drew protests from civil rights advocates.

McCree said he has not yet been contacted by Carter, Bell, or members of Carter's staff.

The solicitor general reviews all the government's cases and decides which of these should be appealed to the Supreme Court. The Office of the Solicitor General argues all the key government cases before the Justices.

Former Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark yesterday called McCree "very capable and diligent. He is highly regarded by all judges and would make a crackerjack solicitor general."

Archibald Cox '34, Carl M. Loeb University Professor, a former solicitor general, said, "The solicitor general is the best professional legal job in the United States and usually has a great deal of independence." Cox served as solicitor general under President John F. Kennedy '40.

John P. Frank, a Phoenix attorney reputed to be a possible choice for solicitor general said yesterday, "There is no reason an administration post for me is a live issue." He added, "McCree is a splendid fellow."

Six Year History

President Bok appointed McCree to chair the review committee on the Afro-American Studies Department in 1971. The committee's 1972 report urged the department to be further integrated into the University by allowing students to combine concentrations in Afro with other disciplines, and by offering joint faculty appointments with other departments.

The committee also recommended that the right of concentrators to vote on Faculty appointments to the department be taken away. It further limited the power of Ewart Guinier '33, then chairman of the Department by suggesting that the chairmanship of the Department be rotated.

The report ended with a recommendation that the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research be established as a joint endeavor with other colleges and universities that have a serious interest in Afro-American Studies.

All of the committee's recommendations were put into effect.

McCree is presently on the Law School Visiting Committee and chairs the Visiting Committee on Germanic Languages and Literature.

Before McCree's appointment to the Court of Appeals in 1969, he served on the Federal District court. He was on the initial board of the Federal Judicial Center and has served on the Committee on the Criminal Justice Act which set up the procedures for indigent defendents to receive legal counsel.

McCree served as a Harvard Overseer from 1969-1975.

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