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Lee H. Hamilton to Discuss “Strengthening the Congress” April 13--CANCELLED


The Honorable Lee H. Hamilton of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will give the 2008-2009 Fowler Harper Lecture on Monday, April 13, 2009, at Yale Law School. The talk begins at 4:30 p.m. in Room 127, with a reception following in the Alumni Reading Room. As a 34-year former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Hamilton will speak from experience on the topic, “Strengthening the Congress.”

“I believe in the importance of representative democracy—in the notion that the representatives of a diverse and often divided people can come together to find common ground and solutions to the issues that assail us,” said Hamilton. “That is what Congress is for, and why it is indispensable. Without the Congress, we do not have representative government. Yet too many of its powers and responsibilities have in recent decades shifted to the president, and the Congress has been far too lax in standing up for its institutional integrity. In my talk, I will lay out some ideas for how our legislators—and ordinary citizens—can work to buttress what has come to be called “the broken branch.”

Lee Hamilton is president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years, representing Indiana’s 9th congressional district. He chaired numerous House committees, including the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran. He also served as co-chair of the Iraq Study Group and vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission.

He is a graduate of DePauw University and Indiana University law school and studied for a year at Goethe University in Germany. Before his election to Congress, he practiced law in Chicago and Columbus, Indiana.

The Fowler Harper Memorial Fund and Harper Fellowship bring to Yale Law School a prominent person who has made a distinguished contribution to the public life of the nation.