2009 Living Constitution Lecture
"Living Up To Our Constitution"
A lecture by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (read the Senator's lecture)
Moderated by Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor-in-Chief, The Nation
November 20, 2009 at 5:30pm
New York University School of Law
40 Washington Sq. South
New York City
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is emerging as a thoughtful, progressive voice on some of the most challenging questions our country faces. A member of the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, he has been among the leaders of the fight to shine light on misdeeds by the Bush Administration, particularly the torture of detainees, warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens, and politicization of the Department of Justice. Among the most outspoken supporters of investigating wrongdoing in the Bush-Cheney years, Whitehouse continues to seek answers about the damage done to our country, and what can be done to repair it.
From his position on the Judiciary Committee, Whitehouse this year offered a full-throated endorsement of the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and sharply criticized Republican efforts to impose a "conservative political orthodoxy" on America's court system.
Whitehouse also serves on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, where he is a forceful advocate for urgent action to address the threat of climate change, especially its impact on our coastal communities. And for the past two years, he has worked to build consensus around the need for fundamental reform of our broken, dysfunctional health care system.
A graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Whitehouse served as a policy advisor and counsel in the Office of the Governor of Rhode Island and as the state's Director of Business Regulation before being nominated by President Bill Clinton to be Rhode Island's U.S. Attorney in 1994. He was elected State Attorney General in 1998, a position in which he served from 1999-2003, and elected to the Senate in 2006. He lives in Newport with his wife, Sandra, a marine biologist and environmental advocate, and their two children.
Katrina vanden Heuvel is the Editor and Publisher of The Nation magazine. She is the co-editor of Taking Back America - And Taking Down The Radical Right (2004) and most recently of Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover. Katrina is a frequent contributor to MSNBC, CNN and ABC's This Week.