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Since 1868 The Place in Austin GOOD FOOD GOOD BEER 1607 San Jacinto GR 7-4171 and policy, and political comments contrary to the prevailing views of the Board of Regents and certain officers of the university. Griffith also charged that the Code of Student Affairs was “vague and too general for constitutional enforcement,” claiming in particular that the section on student publications contained within itself “the chilling grip of unconstitutional censorship.” Tech was represented in the case by its resident counsel, William R. Shaver, by the office of the Attorney General of Texas, and by the firm of Crenshaw, Dupre, and Milam, one of Lubbock’s most prestigious law firms. In Tech’s reply brief, it was emphasized that subsequent issues of the paper would have been banned but for the filing of the suit. At an Aug. 4 hearing attorney Griffith The Catalyst was a legitimate newspaper and journal of opinion, containing material of it was not obscene under any current the Tech campus, in the university library, the university bookstore, and the Student Union Building, were volumes of literature and periodicals of a more controversial nature which were available to students and faculty without restriction \(including the works of Che Guevara, Leroi Jones, Eldridge Cleaver and other Black Panthers, the soundtracks of “Hair” and “Easy Rider,” Playboy magazine, and the Texas paper not only did not advocate violence and disrespect for the political system, but condemned violent tactics and urged students to seek social change through banning the paper had denied the students even the most elementary procedural rights. DEFENSE ATTORNEY Tom S. Milam stressed the issue of decency and community standards of morality. Hard pressed on the obscenity issue, Milam attempted to develop the argument that The Catalyst was responsible for a lowering of moral standards, for contributing to a disrespect for authority, and for contributing to the eventual breakdown of the essential functions of the university. The defense argument essentially was that by reading four-letter words in The Catalyst, but not by reading them in other materials, students would be encouraged to use the words in classes and in criticism of those in authority. Tech President Murray and Executive Vice President Glenn Barnett testified that the language used in The Catalyst was unacceptable to the large majority of Tech students and faculty and was contributing to a loss of respect and to disorder. Dr. Barnett saw a clear pattern of events in which the first step leading to inevitable violence on campus is the presence on a campus of an underground newspaper. Dr. Murray saw on the Tech campus all of the symptoms of a breakdown of the educational process: increased use of drugs, confrontation politics, and the publication of an underground newspaper. However, neither witness was able to give a single example of actual disruption on the campus which could be attributed to the publication of The Catalyst. Dr. Murray was forced to agree with attorney Griffith that a basic cause of campus unrest is the students’ extreme dissatisfaction with national policies and priorities. Tech’s attorneys persisted in arguing that a “clear and present danger” of disruption was imminent or at least inevitable if the paper were allowed to publish. Attorney Milam argued that if the use of “vulgar” words \(e.g., “shit,” “fuck,” and “screw,” which he could not bring himself to utter in the courtroom he did utter the phrase “chastity belt,” but only were allowed to continue, if disrespect and abrasive criticism of authority were allowed to continue, the end result would necessarily be a complete destruction of the educational process. Throughout the two day hearing, a paper bag with the label of Dunlap’s department store was conspicuously resting on the table in front of the attorneys for the plaintiffs. Retha Martin, chairman of the board of the Dunlap’s company and also chairman of the Board of Regents of Tech, was present, being listed as an adverse witness for the plaintiffs. While Griffith did not call Martin as a witness, he did introduce as evidence \(of the reading matter found to be acceptable to the paper bag, which Martin could have but did not prohibit from sale at Dunlap’s. These books included Portnoy’s Complaint, Proposition 31, and Sex and the Overweight Woman, and other works containing numerous four letter words. Attorney Daniel H. Benson assisted Griffith, and gave the concluding argument to the court. He indicated that Tech had violated the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs by imposing a prior restraint on freedom of expression, by’ a denial of equal protection of the laws, and by a denial of procedural due process of law. In a final summary Griffith pointed out that the U.S. Constitution does not permit “nitpicking censorship” and that The Catalyst, “while it does not have the same quality as Cervantes, deserves the same protections.” JUDGE WOODWARD agreed, and granted the relief being sought. He found no instance of disruption of the educational process, and he found discrimination in Tech’s actions against The Catalyst as compared with other publications on the Tech campus. Judge Woodward held that actual punishment had been inflicted against the publishers of the paper without adequate due process. He concluded his comments by thanking both sides: Tech for allowing the sale of subsequent issues pending the disposition of the suit, and the plaintiffs for seeking relief through the court system. What does it all mean? Immediately, it means that the First Amendment has marched, albeit over considerable opposition, triumphantly onto the Tech campus, and that Tech students can believe that “the system” will respond at least occasionally to critical problems. Yet, it is disheartening to find college administrators still clinging to simplistic black-and-white views of the causes of disorder on the campuses. To view such deeply held and growing dissatisfaction with the state of the world as a simple conspiracy to halt the educational process in a tragic commentary of the abilities of the present administrators to deal meaningfully with campus problems. To illustrate this last point it is useful to mention attorney Milam’s attempt to connect John Fletcher’s attendance at a meeting of the Students for a Democratic Society in Austin, in the summer of 1968, and his editorship of The Catalyst in 1969, to the validity of the Tech claim that violence on the campus is inevitable. Moreover, to John Fletcher, a humane person and opponent of reaction, the cost is the exercise of his First Amendment rights was considerable: he was arrested twice within 24 hours \(the second arrest coming a few hours after the first charge drugs, spent a night in the Lubbock County jail in lieu of $7,500 bond, missed a final exam, and lost additional time in preparation for other exams. The “dangerous drugs” he possessed were in fact nonprescription medicines dispensed to him by the Texas Tech Infirmary. We are distressed that the philosophy of the late Mr. Justice Felix Frankfurther is all too relevant in the atmosphere of West Texas: to rely too much on judges to protect our freedoms saps the strength of democracy by distracting attention from the political arena where unwise policies should be corrected. September 4, 1970 15