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James Boyd
Indiana University School of Law--Bloomington

Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Monday, September 22, 2008

Sen. Birch Bayh to visit Indiana Law Thursday

Sept. 22, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh will return to his alma mater on Thursday, Sept. 25, to present a lecture on the importance of church and state separation.

Bayh, JD'60, will give a public talk from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Moot Court Room at the Indiana University School of Law--Bloomington. His lecture is entitled "Separation of Church and State: As Important Today as in the 18th Century."

Photo by: James Boyd

Birch Bayh

Bayh will also have limited time to speak with the media immediately following his presentation.

During his visit to Indiana Law, Bayh will participate in several classes, giving students an inside perspective on how legislation works on Capitol Hill. A three-term member of the U.S. Senate, Bayh now serves as a partner in the Legislative and Regulatory Group of Venable LLP's Government Division.

During his tenure in the Senate, Bayh authored two Constitutional Amendments: the Twenty-fifth Amendment, relating to Presidential and Vice Presidential succession, and the Twenty-sixth Amendment, which lowered the legal voting age to 18. He was influential in the passage of Title IX, which gave women equal opportunities in both sports and academics at public institutions.

That kind of experience will allow students to not only hear, but learn from one of the more prolific politicians and lawyers in recent memory, Professor Luis Fuentes-Rohwer said.

"If I had to choose one person to talk about the Voting Rights Act and its early evolution in Congress, I can hardly think of a better person to talk to than Senator Bayh," Fuentes-Rohwer said. "He was there in 1965 when Congress enacted the Act; in 1970, when the Nixon administration sought to weaken its provisions; and in 1975, when its language provisions were added. This is an incredible opportunity for students in my voting rights class to explore these important issues with such a central figure, and I for one am very excited about the opportunity."

Bayh served in the U.S. Senate from 1962 through 1980. During his Senate career, he served on the Judiciary Committee, the Appropriations Committee, and the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Media are invited to cover Bayh's lecture, though space will be limited. Bayh will have media availability for approximately 10 minutes following his presentation, which is being sponsored by the American Constitution Society.