News In Brief

Baker skips 2 GOP women in making 'rights' choice

Senate Republican leader Howard Baker filled the last vacancy on the new eight-member US Civil Rights Commission and immediately took a verbal beating from civil rights groups - not because they questioned his appointee's qualifications, but for what they called Mr. Baker's ''acquiescing'' in the dismissal of two prominent civil rights commissioners.

In choosing Francis Guess, a labor commissioner from his home state of Tennessee, Baker dashed hopes that either Mary Louise Smith, a former GOP chairwoman from Des Moines, or Jill Ruckelshaus, a prominent GOP feminist, would be reappointed. President Reagan and House Republican leader Robert Michel refused to reappoint the women despite rights groups' insistence there was an unwritten bargain they would be named.

The new commission includes three blacks and two Hispanics. Three members are women.

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