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Democrats Club Pushes Rights Bill

By Kelly C. Lee

Hoping to convince President Bush to approve the Civil Rights Bill of 1990, the Harvard-Radcliffe Democratic Club sponsored a petition drive in favor of the measure in front of Widner Library yesterday.

Nine hundred and thirty one people signed petitions, said James M. Harmon '93, president of the Harvard-Radcliffe Democrats.

The Civil Rights bill, which has been threatened with a presidential veto, shifts the burden of proof in employment discrimination cases from employees to employers. The bill has passed the Senate and was expected to pass the House Wednesday.

Ted Rose '94, Yard coordinator for the Democrat club, said the petition drive was designed both to pressure Bush and to "get the Harvard community to become aware of what is going on in Washington."

Steven Howe '93, political director of the Democrat club, said that the Civil Rights Bill would protect the rights of employees facing discrimination. The bill would counteract a series of Supreme Court decisions that have left it up to employees to prove that employment practices are discriminatory.

Bush has said that the bill would compel employers who fear unjustified discrimation complaints to institute quotas.

But Howe said that before the recent Supreme Court decisions no de facto quotas had occurred. Howe said Bush is merely keeping his promise to veto the bill to his "business friends" who oppose the measure.

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