The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 81, No. 49, Ed. 1, Friday, March 26, 1993 Page: 3 of 8
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lBB)aMBsBli M fesssltf LLfiA IsUflSJlRTi
he will mirt this awwtmr
gives lrcMet Clinton an early
Dawning le twin rrnlnnlwr a court
ftipMd in Hie 1HW toward Mtiti-
"crols and away from excel -
;.'Bt th right way toward that
realignment Is not simply to pick
justices with a different litmus test
vthan that applied by the last two
The test for choosing the next
justice ought to be distinction and
'. is a caution-
ary tale for
ffkftitf poHUe jabfUca bh
Mee jmttcc puta osiM lobt
fyTkt hut member of the court
mmid by a Democrat (John F.
kKt (MHwly) and the last sitting
wMMfeikA Amm Am iiimtfil tiiaal !
jmnnra iron v lvmrHunt
Warrtt Cort White has been
ifrm me befWkttiftf a conservative
mi wide nmjn of. leesies.
'' in 1966 he distentcd from the
it .- r ui .j. .Af..
jtm a inmuin wmmm WBtiaruTi
-which requires ponce to warn
famea suspects of their right to
f remain siknt and to be represented
'by an attorney.
In 1973 he dissented in Roe vs.
Wade which invalidated state
bans on abortions and in Use years
since lie has been a regular vote
for overturning the ruling.
Tor some White's conservatism
was less a sign that he had
'rliflnoil thnn that thn rnuntrv
Mhhged around him.
Indeed even as he sided with
fafiL court's Increasingly conserva-
scojm; of the Fh Amttutmenli)'
WhMc vetad wm the court's
nMram om ctvil nctite atM aefetw-
iMf Mtral power in cottAkM with
Ac states isus that were central
to his work as deputy attorney
general in the Kennedy adminis-
Such consistency can be' a'
strength. But in White's case lt
wai never held together with a
thread of philosophy or driving
personal sense of justice.
Although workmanlike. White's
opinions do not ring with memo
rable phrases or lead to deeper
understandings of the law. A part
of the court for 31 years White
By Linda P. Campbell
Chicago Trlbuno 1993
will want to
appoint a justice capafek of mete.
In his campaign for president.
Clinton seemed to set a litmus test
of his own: support for constku
tiottal protection of the rifht to pri-
vacy and abortion cfceice.
Now early comments from
unnamed aides svggett )fct cen-
siderations of diversity wiM be a
Mgh selection criterion.
Bt both the president and the '
court would be harmed by an
appointee who appears to have
been chosen mainly to address's .
single issue or meet a requirement
for ethnic or gender ticket-balancing.
What the court and the country
need is a nominee of unquestioned
distinction capable of taking a
position of intellectual leadership
on a politicized court.
If Clinton sticks to the criteria
he laid out last Friday Ma fine;
mind good judgment wide cxpe-
nesce tn inc law ana in tno
livebloc to weaken tho rights of lems of real people andall
HmHV.dI . ". r .-' man
scrwHftMtaicnQants reouce pnva- jHcart the nation
Jcyjprotections' and restrict the served. t jt $
mmgWTrr' ; "l ' '
afft-ii l -"-: - - ' iv -'-vsx?
The debate no doubt will follow Justice
Byron R. White into the history books:
Would he have been a disappointment to
President John F. Kennedy the buddy who
appointed him? Or has he been just the kind of
justice Kennedy expected?
In 31 years on the Supreme Court White has
served with 21 other justices and outlasted 13
of them. Often an influential vote between the
court's conservative and liberal factions he has
watched the court swing from the liberalism of
Chief Justice Earl Warren to the conservatism
of the current chief William Rchnquist.
A Democrat who often votes with the con-
servatives White has stirred controversy by
opposing a constitutional right to abortion sup-
porting the death penalty and taking a tough
stand on many criminal-law issues. But he has
also supported broad efforts at school desegre-
gation expanded voting rights and strong civil
His range of views illustrates that he car-
ries no ideology but approaches each
case individually White's supporters
say.Tti'his critics' White'sshlfting allegiances
demonstrate a lack of vision about the
"Kennedy would have been surprised at the
way he turned out" contends Georgetown law
professor Susan Low Bloch who clerked for
the late Justice Thurgood Marshall.
But University of Chicago law professor
Geoffrey Miller who clerked for White calls
him a "Kennedy Democrat": He's generally
pro-union supports equal treatment of minori-
ties is tough on crime and favors "allowing the
political process to make the decisions about
our national future.
"I think he fits the model of the justice who
turned out like what the president who appoint-
ed him would have liked" Miller said.
In many ways White shows "how difficult it
is to predict what people will do with a set of
issues" said University of Chicago law profes-
sor David Strauss.
When White joined the court it was con-
cerned with whether the federal courts could
order reluctant Southern states to protect the
civil rights of blacks and he voted to support
strong federal power to provide equal protec-
tion for minorities.
Later the justices faced new issues such as
affirmative action and abortion. White believed
the court was reaching into areas where it had
A recent study of White's voting record by
Yale law professor Kate Stith shows that he
was in the majority more often as the court
grew increas'ngly conservative: he was in the
majority in 5-4 decisions less than half the time
during the 1960s but nearly 75 percent of the
time in the 1980s.
But Stith a former clerk for White said
she believes the figures show how the
court has changed rather than how White
has become conservative. His positions have
remained consistent she said. "It was really the
court and society that changed.
"There's always the clement of unpre-
dictability" when a justice is appointed said
Georgetown's Bloch. "When you put on the
robe of the highest court of the land it does
have a transforming effect."
White came to the court from the Justice
Department where he was Attorney Gen.
Robert Kennedy's top assistant and had waded
into the thick of the civil rights battle by lead-
ing federal marshals into Montgomery Ala. to
curb violence against protesters trying to inte-
grate interstate travel facilities.
On the'bench White conveysisomcthing of a
grumpy image. And off the 'bench he can be
demanding and enigmatic. But he commands a
loyal following among his former clerks who
consider him kind and modest a hard-working
man with a droll wit.
Former clerks and longtime friends
describe him as a brilliant legal mind and
a fierce competitor who loves his job.
"You can't understand Justice White if you
don't understand competition" said federal
appellate Judge David Ebel of Denver who
clerked for the justice and still goes fishing
with him. "He values it. He relishes it."
For many years clerks played bruising bas-
ketball games with White in the court's gym.
"He just wouldn't know how to play basketball
politely" Ebel said in an interview last year.
White has been a competitor since he was
growing up in Wellington Colo. working in
beet fields to earn money for clothes and other
He attended the University of Colorado on
an academic scholarship but also excelled in
sports and secured a place in football lore as an
Ail-American triple-threat tailback nicknamed
"Whizzer" by a sportswriter.
After college White juggled a Rhodes schol
arship to Oxford a football career and Yale -'
Law School playing with the Pittsburgh
Pirates (which later became the Steclers) and
the Detroit Lions. He was named to the College '
Football Hall of Fame in 1954 and later
became the first Supreme Court clerk to
become a justice.
Working in Navy intelligence during
World War II White wrote the offi-
cial report about the sinking of John
Kennedy's boat PT-109. Later White ran
Kennedy's vote-getting effort in Colorado and
headed his national citizens committee during
the 1960 presidential campaign.
Though White can seem businesslike he is
not always all business. For instance he used
to keep a putting green in his office.
One court source said White pretended to be
miffed at comments from other justices report-
ed in the 1979 book "The Brethren" so he bor-
rowed a hand buzzer and buzzed each of his .
colleagues when they shook hands at the open-
ing of the first conference of the next term.
White tends to be conservative on free-
speech issues and he favors lowering the wall ;
separating church and state.
Though consistently tough in the area of
criminal law he expects state power to be
For example in 1986 he was willing to over-
rule his own 1965 opinion on the protections
afforded criminal defendants who claim prose-
cutors are striking potential jurors based on
And last year he threw out a pornography
conviction saying federal investigators had
gone too far in an undercover operation.
When the court in 1991 ruled that a forced
confession is not automatic grounds for appeal-
ing a criminal conviction White wrote an
impassioned dissent that he read from the
bench a rare departure from his terse
announcement of decisions.
Because he believes in a strong government.
White gives great deference to Congress when
interpreting federal statutes.
He believes everyone deserves equal oppor-
tunity but no one should expect special privi-
leges. White voted that excluding women from
the military draft violates constitutional equal-
protection guarantees but his record on
women's rights varies with the issues. -
His deference to government rests on a belief!;
that excesses by legislatures or chief executives';
will be checked by voters through democratic
1 Howard Hughet
command 'At !'
7 Txns pay taxs
to this ogncy
a TXIsm: 'had put on
tho (Md bag'
9 first on dnvan
in TX In 1897
12 San Antonio Uam
h Altison (wit)
19 TXitm: 'hotter than
22 Newman Wm mado
In Claud in 1963
23 TXtar. Storm
B i 24 Dublin football claw
I "I .- is -. rv... I. .
of this county
30 TXIsm: Vtobed
with a ahovsl' (bury)
31 Spaniah 'mlttar
32 Dallas sutfarad bad
35 TXiam: 'don't cross
tharivar till you.
38 McCrosky Cabin
In Brazoria Co. is
oldest in TX (1624)
37 Taxans two-step
38 TXism: 'dean
40 Texans thump water-
melon to see if it's this
41 what the cook does
with dead chickens
43 'having time'
44 TX or Iowa town
45 rare bird of east TX
46 'just and dandy
47 TXbeSo tease
48 TXism: 'a dog
donl get no biscuits'
49 TXIsm: "let the cat
lyCbarley & Guy Orblson
CapytigM 19M by OttAon Bw.
Wt mm " TtBta u iTps is j.
Stt Bi 1
I Mtz JF I
'HHa 27 :i n Wmi ssl am
s wmu m Hsv H
n Mm WmV W
SBSMSSSI T mm m w ""TBl!lMf7 IsillH
H41 sHI IssH sB
isjsjn Hi wmlr W
sWtT " - M7S"""tin " " """ "" WKmTt I wngaw
sm- ssH I asV sw"1
sSsj-Wq Ho pF e-ai
" "tbk p wmmgr
ViaBM 67 BBBBBBV'
52 family fight
53 Ft Worth TV
54 oilfield firefighter
55 Spanish 'yes'
56 an Astros' smack
68 Indian tribe
59 non-TX snake
1 Padre Island
Balrd is 'Antique
3 TXism: 'sticks out
4 Astro opponent:
6 best '4 of a kind'
9 cattle are squeezed
in this to brand
10 WiHa'a'Farm '
11 his slogan: 'Ross
for Boss' (Init)
Yucca plant is
called " dagger
Bush's WWII Job
actor Taylor (inlt)
'Dallas' was one in
prime time (2 wds.)
former Cowboy QB
coach: David 29
university in nation
Bush or Foreman 30
The stars at night
shining bright- 31
boat launch Incline
TX or Italy town 34
to float an anvil'
old name for El Paso
river to the north
has "fl!ass dome
I can It or leave it
36 PBS music series:
39 this old trail crossed
40 TX Engfish who sang
on Lawrence Welk
42 spilled milk response
43 Dallas Times Herald
had noon edition
47 telephone mail
50 Corpus Christl
beauty Farrah (Init.)
51 Texans do It
65 Texas two-
57 Dallas-based "I Cant
Solution on pg. 5
Rates of gun-related deaths increase for youths
By Barbara Vobejda
O The Washington Post. 1993
The rate at which young
Americans are killed by guns
has risen dramatically in
recent years and firearms are now
involved in one of every four deaths
among persons age IS to 24 the
federal government reported
The National Center for Health
Statistics (NCHS) which has been
tracking firearm death rates since
the late 1960s reported that the rate
among people age 15-19 has
climbed to the highest ever record-
ed in this country.
In that age group and among
those age 20-24 firearms arc the
cause of more deaths than all natu-
ral causes combined. Only motor
vehicle accidents cause more deaths
in those age groups.
The rates of gun-related deaths
among IS- to 19-year-olds rose
gradually through the late 1960s
1970s and early 1980s according to
Lois A. Fingerhut an epidemiolo-
gist at NCHS and author of the
But then the figures jumped
from 13.3 deaths per 100000 popu-
lation in 1985 to 23.5 deaths per
100000 in 1990 the last year for
which complete data are available.
Fingerhut called the difference
The study did not examine why
the figures have risen so rapidly
and Fingerhut said there is not a
single explanation. "There arc mul-
tiple variables in this" she said.
"For some unknown reason they've
all come together. You can't open a
newspaper without reading about
someone else being killed."
At a recent congressional hearing
examining the increasing violence
in children's lives experts and chil-
dren's advocates cited a host of
causes including the easy accessi-
bility of guns increasing drug traf-
fic glorification of violence in the
media and the breakdown of the
"It is frightening and intolerable
to see this waste of young lives"
Health and Human Services
Secretary Donna E. Shalala said in
a statement released with the report.
"Our young people need to see
opportunity ahead of them and
rewards for hard work not the
emptiness and unpredictability of
In 1990 guns involved in homi-
cides suicides or accidents caused
the deaths of nearly 4200
teenagers the report said compared
to about 2500 in 1985.
The rate rose 77 percent among
all those age 15-19 from 1985 to
Even among the very young
guns were involved in a rising num
ber of deaths: For black males age
10-14 the rate more than doubled
over that period. And for all black
teenage males the firearm homi-
cide rate nearly tripled over that
period reaching 105.3 deaths per
Rates among white teenage boys
rose rapidly an annual average
increase of 24 percent from 1988 to
1990 largely in the Hispanic
community Fingerhut said. But the
figures were much higher among
Sixty percent of deaths among
black teenage males were caused by
guns compared to 23 percent
among white teenage males
Among persons age 15-24 the
number of firearm deaths in 1990
was 9542. Deaths by natural causes
totaled 7959 and motor vehicle
accidents claimed 12607. :
Fingerhut said a previous study
showed that the rates were highest
in big cities such as Washington
Los Angeles and Detroit but that
rates were increasing in small cities
Focusing only on death rates may
understate the larger problem she
said because it does not reflect the
extent of serious injury caused by
guns. There are seven times as
many nonfatal firearm injuries as
there are deaths caused by guns arjo
said adding: "The cost to society is
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The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 81, No. 49, Ed. 1, Friday, March 26, 1993, newspaper, March 26, 1993; Abilene, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth92175/m1/3/: accessed October 16, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.