To the Editors:
The following resolution was passed, 20-3, Wednesday, February 25, 1970, by the Columbia Law School Student Senate.
The Columbia Law School Student Senate requests the faculty to join with us in the following statement:
We are appalled by the decisions to prosecute the Chicago Seven and the Black Panthers, and the judicial conduct during the trials. These trials are symbolic of the Administration’s callous decision to trample individual rights and to thwart efforts by disadvantaged groups to achieve justice under law. In furtherance of this design, the President has unleashed his associates to enlist support by appeals to the most base instincts of our citizenry.
As this repressive policy continues to pervade the character of all three of the branches of our Federal Government, the vast groups of young and black people in this country must inevitably conclude that this government has become destructive of the ends of justice and equality. On reaching this conclusion. “It is the right of the People to alter or abolish that government and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
As lawyers and future lawyers we feel a special responsibility for the preservation of the rule of law, but as the due process of law is ignored, degraded or violated by each and every Administration decision, we are increasingly drawn to the revolutionary message of the Declaration of Independence, quoted above.
We feel compelled to speak out in condemnation of the use of criminal trials as a political technique.
New York City
March 26, 1970