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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 22, 1999)
Long haired freaky people need not apply
TIM SULLIVAN is a third
year law student and a
Daily Nebraskan columnist
A third-year law student at the
University of Nebraska College of
Law has been denied permission to
take an extremely important course
because his hair is
es at the UNL
College of Law are
subject to limited
because of high
demand and limit
ulcnn ed resources.
Students wishing to take certain
courses must participate in a lottery
and be among those chosen in the lot
tery drawing for a particular course in
order to be allowed to register for that
Thayne Glenn, currently a third
year law student, participated in last
fall’s lottery for this spring’s courses.
Thayne submitted a request for "
Criminal Clinic, one of the lottery
In Criminal Clinic, third-year cer
tified senior law students work for the
county attorney, under the supervi
sion of an attorney. They prosecute
cases on behalf of the county attor
Very few students applied to take
Criminal Clinic this spring. So few, in
fact, that it was actually unnecessary
to conduct a drawing to fill the
So Thayne was in. And he was
excited about that.
Thayne has had a strong interest
in becoming a prosecutor for as long
as I have known him, which has been
since the beginning of our first year
of law school.
Thayne has long red hair and a
beard. He wears his hair a little past
his shoulders and often wears it tied
into a ponytail.
During his second year of law
school, he worked in the prosecutor’s
office for the Omaha tribe at Macy.
Both Thayne and I applied to take
Civil Clinic last fall. Again, not
enough students participated in the
lottery, so everyone who applied got
It’s necessary to partner up with
another student in clinic, so Thayne
and I worked together on civil cases
Thayne and I made numerous
court appearances together.
Only once did our supervising
attorney have an issue with Thayne’s
Thayne was wearing a dangling
silver earring as we were walking
from the parking garage to the old
federal building. We had to go argue a
motion. Our supervising attorney
suggested Thayne remove the earring,
and he did.
But after Thayne received notice
that he was on the list of students who
could take Criminal Clinic this
spring, he was called into the office of
one of our supervising: attorneys in
the Civil Clinic.
Thayne was told by our supervis
ing attorneys that Gary Lacey, the
county attorney for Lancaster County,
would not allow him to participate in
Criminal Clinic unless he cut his hair.
Thayne told him no. He wasn’t
going to cut his hair.
Not for Gary Lacey.
Not to take Criminal Clinic.
Not to help fulfill a dream of his
that he held so fervently from his first
day of law school.
Not to get the experience he felt
he so desperately needed to make his
personal legal educational program
Thayne simply would not cut his
Thayne was so angry that day he
could barely talk. After he calmed
down, we talked about his options.
Naturally, being the lawyer types
that Thayne and I are, our first
thought was to sue. We started con
sidering the legal theories under
which we could bring a cause of
action against the university and the
Thayne considered that the
Criminal Clinic program exists only
because of the good graces of the
He also considered that if he made
an issue of his being denied permis
sion to take the course because of the
length of his hair, perhaps Gary
Lacey would simply discontinue the
program, and it wouldn’t be available
I’m not unsympathetic to Lacey’s
position on this issue. I understand his
point of view.
Lacey obviously is concerned that
judges and jurors may react unfavor
ably to Thayne Glenn because of his
Perhaps Lacey thinks that jurors
are stupid people who base their deci
sions on whether or not the state has
proven the guilt of a defendant
beyond a reasonable doubt based on
the length of the prosecuting attor
Gary Lacey must think people are
idiots. The general public can’t be
trusted to make a decision on the guilt
or innocence of a particular defendant
based on the evidence and not on the
appearance of the attorney prosecut
ing the case, at least in his mind.
Would it really go against the state
if the attorney for the state had long
hair, or would it be more likely for a
jury to convict a defendant whose
lawyer had long hair?
I think juries might look at crimi
nal defendants with a more discrimi
nating eye if the defense attorney has
After all, if people harbor negative
views toward others based on their
appearance, a criminal defendant who
associates himself or herself with a
long-haired lawyer is probably more
likely to be convicted than a defen
dant with a short-haired lawyer. That’s
because people tend to want to
believe the police are honest.
Not only do people want to
believe that the police are honest, but
they also want to think the system is
fair. So these presumptions tend to
operate in favor of the prosecution.
If jurors really harbor prejudices
against long-haired lawyers, then
when criminal defendants appear
before juries with a long-haired
freaky-looking lawyer, jurors who
reach decisions based on the appear
ances of the defendant or the defense
attorney will probably tend to com
bine their presumption in favor of
police honesty and system fairness
with their predisposition against long
haired freaky people to render a guilty
No one told Thayne Glenn that
long-haired freaky people shouldn’t
apply for Criminal Clinic. He certain
ly didn’t expect to be discriminated
against because of the length of his
hair. He thought it was completely
arbitrary and unfair.
So did I.
Flynt bears fire
Publisher deserves praistfor his principles
MATT PETERSON is a
senior English and news
editorial major and a Daily
Hustler magazine publisher
Larry Flynt may be the most repul
sive and morally depraved celebrity
Americaft capitalism has ever pro
I can’t help but admire the man.
During a 25-year career as the
nation’s most infamous smut-ped
dler, Flynt has been more instrumen
tal to free speech and obscenity laws
than any other individual in U.S. his
Flynt is despicable, but he is sin
cere and, unquestionably, a man of
principle, qualities difficult to main
tain when constantly in the public’s
The cover of Flynt’s magazine
once featured a nude female body
being processed into hamburger by a
meat-grinder - the ultimate objectifi
cation of a woman.
Accepting a man who’s made a
fortune objectifying women as “prin
cipled” is sure to present a moral
dilemma for any rational person.
Yet it’s difficult to completely
condemn a man who has made a
mockery of the Moral Majority,
cussed out the Supreme Court and
revealed the hypocrisy of the current
In November 1983, Hustler
Magazine ran a fake interview with
then-Moral Majority leader Rev.
Jerry Falwell. During the course of
the page-long interview, which was
labeled “ad parody - not to be taken
seriously,” a fictitious Falwell admit
ted to being a “hypocritical incestu
ous drunkard” who lost his virginity
to his own mother in an outhouse.
Falwell sued the magazine for
libel, invasion of privacy and inten
tional infliction of emotional dis
tress. During the court proceedings
that followed, Flynt personally
admitted to intending to cause
Falwell emotional distress.
The court awarded Falwell
$200,000, and a court of appeals
subsequently affirmed the decision.
The case made its way to the
Supreme Court in 1988, and despite
Flynt’s profane courtroom outbursts,
a unanimous decision overturned the
lower court’s ruling and established
the protection of parody under the
Flynt’s most recent foray into
public scrutiny involves the presi
dential impeachment proceedings.
This self-proclaimed First
Amendment “whipping boy” took
out a full-page ad in The Washington
Post offering $ 1 million to anyone
who could prove a member of
Congress had had an adulterous
House Speaker-to-be Rep.
Robert Livingston, R-La., was
Flynt’s first victim. The congressman
resigned from the House on Dec. 17
after adulterous allegations came to
Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., one of the
most visible prosecutors in the cur
rent impeachment trial, has also been
implicated after his second wife
brought Flynt “seven pages of sordid
While Flynt’s methods disgust
me, I think has intentions are sincere
in this instance.
It was peijury, not adultery, that
led to the president’s impeachment.
The current congressional proceed
ings should not be about sex and
infidelity, and on the surface, they
But on a more personal level,
moral expectations were compro
mised and delicate sensibilities were
affronted. And unfortunately, the
impeachment vote strictly adhered to
Flynt’s bounty has only revealed
the tip of this iceberg of hypocrisy. It
seems terribly coincidental that
Flynt’s witch-hunt has only implicat
ed Republican leadership and has yet
to turn up a philandering Democrat.
I suppose that inquisition will
have to wait for an ultra-conservative
scumbag to come out of the wood
But no matter how much I dis
agree with Flynt’s methods and opin
ions, I cannot fault his devotion
through considerable adversity.
Flynt has perhaps had as tough a
life as a millionaire publishing
mogul can have.
While leaving a courthouse in
Lawrenceville, Ga., where he was
facing obscenity charges in March
1978, Flynt was shot in the back by a
would-be assassin and was paralyzed
from the hips down.
In a certain sense,
Flynt could be consid
ered a martyr for his
principles. While he
had no choice in sacri
ficing his ability to
walk, he, nevertheless,
is bound to a wheel
chair for the rest of his
days because of his
Coping with pain (Flynt once
said the pain was akin to “standing
up to my thighs in boiling water
while someone with a claw hammer
ripped the meat off my bones.”) he
became addicted to painkillers and
spent the next several years in a stu
por. During this time, he lost his
fourth wife, Althea, die woman Flynt
considers to have been his “soul
Such physical and mental
anguish have left Flynt a horror to
behold both morally and aesthetical
ly, and yet he does not arouse empa
thy because, miraculously, he is not
Neither is he worthy of respect.
Rather, Flynt is admirable as a cul
tural icon. He is “the nightmare ver
sion of the American dream,” as he
was dubbed by People magazine.
but as is the
A ' A
etal swamp,, scum always rises to the
> However, if respectable
"N people were as sincere and
\ relentless in pursuing
\ their principles as
\ Flynt, that bog of cor
\ ruption and
\ hypocrisy might be
;| Larry Flynt is an
indecent man whom
f decent people
/ should aspire to
/ resemble, in action if
/ not in deed.
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