Levi Defends Bell Designation

Attorney General Edward H. Levi holds that membership in clubs that discriminate against Jews, Blacks or women should not be “the pivotal point” in judging President-elect Jimmy Carter’s choice of former Judge Griffin Bell as the next Attorney General.

In a farewell nationwide appearance on NBC-TV “Meet the Press” yesterday, the first Jew to head the Justice Department termed criticism of Bell’s membership in such clubs in Atlanta as “trivializing a rather important subject.” Levi made this statement in response to a question on the subject by the program’s moderator and added that he thought the designation of Bell is a good one. Bell himself said last week that he would resign from the clubs. His move followed mounting pressure from civil rights and Jewish groups.