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Hillary Rodham Clinton - History

Hillary Rodham Clinton - History

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Hillary Rodham Clinton is the first lawyer to become First Lady. She graduated from Wellesley College and Yale Law School and has held many prominent positions including Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas, activist for the Children's Defense Fund, and partner in a corporate law firm. She is also the mother of a teen-age daughter.

A Chicago native, Mrs. Clinton met her future husband in law school. After their marriage, the couple moved back to her husband's home state of Arkansas where Bill Clinton pursued a political career. As Governor, Clinton began to build the political base that would take him to the White House. His wife's lucrative legal career provided the bulk of the financial support for their family.

As a politically savvy and outspoken First Lady, Hillary Clinton has come under considerable attack for the controversial role she assumed in her husband's administration. One of her first acts was to establish her office in the West Wing of the White House, an unprecedented move for a First Lady. Later, she assumed the Chair of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. She had the unenviable job of trying to provide a framework for comprehensive health care reform in the U.S. After a long and grueling effort, the Clinton reform proposals went down to defeat. In the time since, Mrs. Clinton has made a conscious effort to follow a more traditional First Lady's agenda while preserving the unique aspects of her partnership with the President. With her husbands Presidency coming to an end, Clinton began her own political career by running for the Senate from New York. She won that race and became a Senator in 2000. In 2008 she sought the democratic nomination for the Presidency but was defeated by Senator Barak Obama. President Obama asked Clinton to be his Secretary of State a job she did for Obama first term. In 2016 Clinton won the democratic nomination against Senator Bernie Sanders. Only to go on to lose the election against Donald Trump.

CLINTON, Hillary Rodham

In 2000, while serving as First Lady of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton won election to the U.S. Senate from New York. On Capitol Hill she worked to rebuild and secure New York City in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, and pushed for measures to aid the troops fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After serving as Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President Barack Obama, she became the first woman in American history to be nominated for President on a major party ticket. After breaking barriers at every turn during her political career Clinton reflected on her legacy in March 2020. “Well, I know I was a good public servant,” she said. “I hope that I’ve made it a little bit easier for more women to enter the public sphere.” 1

Hillary Rodham Clinton was born Hillary Diane Rodham on October 26, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois, the oldest of three children, to Hugh Ellsworth Rodham and Dorothy Howell Rodham. Clinton grew up in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge and graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she became a campus leader and was chosen by her classmates as the first student commencement speaker. 2 After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science, Clinton completed a law degree at Yale Law School in 1973. Inspired by the work of Marian Wright Edelman, a Yale alumna and children’s rights activist who founded the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), Clinton worked for the CDF after graduation. In 1974 she joined the staff of the House Judiciary Committee special counsel leading the impeachment inquiry into President Richard M. Nixon sparked by the Watergate Scandal. After Nixon resigned and the House closed its investigation, Rodham accepted a teaching position at the University of Arkansas School of Law and in 1975 married William J. (Bill) Clinton, whom she had met at Yale. They have a daughter, Chelsea. 3

In 1977 President Jimmy Carter appointed Clinton to the board of Legal Services Corporation—an organization that dispersed federal money to legal aid bureaus nationally. She founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and in 1978 was named to the Children’s Defense Fund board, which she later chaired from 1986 to 1989. In 1978 her husband Bill won election as governor of Arkansas, and she took on responsibilities as the state’s first lady during their combined 10 years in the governor’s mansion. 4 In 1992 she campaigned widely for her husband during his run for the White House Bill Clinton was elected President that November. For eight years, Clinton served as an active First Lady, working on health care reform, children’s issues, and women’s rights. President Clinton named her head of his task force on health care policy, but Congress never embraced her plan to overhaul the health industry. The reforms were abandoned in September 1994. 5

In 1999, when New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan announced his retirement, Clinton joined the race to succeed him while maintaining the role of First Lady. In July 1999, she set up an exploratory committee and pledged to “spend some time—a lot of time—in New York listening to people.” 6 Despite never having lived in New York, Clinton established residency, gained strong party support, and quickly became the frontrunner in the Democratic primary largely due to her efforts campaigning in upstate New York. In her official campaign launch on February 7, 2000, Clinton took the stage at the State University of New York with the President standing silently behind her. Addressing certain criticisms head-on she said, “Now I know, some people are asking why I’m doing this, here and now. And that’s a fair question. Here’s my answer, and why I hope you’ll put me to work for you: I may be new to the neighborhood, but I’m not new to your concerns.” 7

Clinton swept the Democratic primary, winning 82 percent of the vote against Mark McMahon, an orthopedic surgeon who had only entered the race to prevent Clinton from running unopposed. 8 In the build up to the general election against Republican Representative Enrico A. (Rick) Lazio, Clinton pledged to help revitalize the economy upstate and continue her commitment to education and health care reform. She backed a “patients’ bill of rights” and expanded Medicare coverage for prescription drugs. Clinton hammered Lazio on the subject of health care in the campaign’s final stretch, criticizing the Congressman for missing a vote on an amendment to an appropriations bill that would have required HMO plans to cover Medicare patients for at least three years, instead of one. On November 7, 2000, she prevailed with 56 percent of the vote. 9 Clinton’s election made her the first woman to represent New York in the United States Senate she was also the first First Lady to win election to federal office.

In the Senate, Clinton received three committee assignments in her first term: Budget Environment and Public Works and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). In the 108th Congress (2003–2005), she stepped down from the Budget Committee when she became the first New Yorker in Senate history to serve on the Armed Services Committee. Additionally, in the 109th Congress (2005–2007), she was assigned to the Senate Special Committee on Aging. 10

Much of Clinton’s early work in the Senate focused on promoting economic development in upstate New York—including the expansion of high-speed Internet access and the creation of tax incentives for environmentally friendly building projects. She also promoted programs to renovate and modernize schools. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, she worked to help the region recover. Because of the attacks, New York lost one-third of all its office space in Lower Manhattan key rail and subway lines closed, displacing more than a half million commuters and tens of thousands of jobs were lost. Clinton worked with her colleagues to ensure New York received federal funds to begin rebuilding. She fought to include $50 million for New York area nonprofits and $570 million in infrastructure security in 2004. Eventually, more than $21.4 billion was appropriated to rebuild and secure the city and affected areas. Clinton also won an extension of unemployment insurance to help displaced workers. 11

In October 2002, following President George W. Bush’s warning that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, Clinton joined 28 other Democratic Senators and nearly all Republicans in authorizing use of military force in Iraq. Despite criticism from peace advocates and other Democrats, Clinton defended her decision and later voted for an $87 billion supplemental appropriation for the war. “The fact is we’re in Iraq and we’re in Afghanistan, and we have no choice but to be successful,” she explained in December 2003. As the war dragged on, however, Clinton joined a chorus of Democrats criticizing the Bush administration’s strategy. In August 2006, she called for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Henry Rumsfeld. 12

During her time in the Senate, Clinton was either in the minority party or part of a razor-thin majority. While a few of her standalone bills became law, Clinton focused on policy work in committee and on establishing bipartisan relationships. 13 Virginia Senator John William Warner, the Republican chair of the Armed Services Committee, praised Clinton’s efforts. “She’s very industrious,” he said. “She does her homework very carefully. She’s very respectful of how the committee does its business.” Clinton leveraged her understanding of the committee process to pursue more protective body armor for troops in the Middle East and to advocate for an end to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy banning openly gay servicemembers. 14

In fall 2006, Clinton was re-elected to a second term in the Senate, winning 64 percent of the vote against Republican candidate John Spencer. In 2007 she declared her candidacy for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. In a historic primary season, Clinton emerged as an early frontrunner, but criticisms of her vote for the Iraq War weighed on her campaign and she eventually lost the nomination to Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. Following his election as President, Obama nominated Clinton as Secretary of State. In late January 2009, after the Senate confirmed her nomination, Clinton resigned from the Senate to begin her duties as Secretary of State. 15

Clinton served as Secretary of State in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2013. On April 12, 2015, she announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. Clinton won the Democratic primary and, when she accepted the nomination on July 28, 2016, became the first woman to head the presidential ticket of a major party. Though she ultimately won nearly three million more votes in the popular vote, Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election to the Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, who captured the Electoral College. 16


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Rodham was born on April 2, 1911, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the son of Hugh Rodham (1879–1965) and Hannah Jones (1882–1952). [1] His parents were either from or parentally from the United Kingdom – his father emigrated from Oxhill, County Durham, England, the son of a coal miner, [2] while his mother was born in Pennsylvania, to immigrant parents from Wales, one of whom was from Merthyr Tydfil she was also descended from coal miner parents. [1] [3] [4] [5]

Rodham attended Pennsylvania State University and was a third-string tight end for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team. [6] He joined the Delta Upsilon fraternity. [4] He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education [4] from the College of Education in 1935, at the height of the Great Depression.

He briefly worked for his father's employer, Scranton Lace Company, [7] then freighthopped to Chicago without telling his parents. [4] Rodham found work there selling drapery fabrics around the Midwest, sending the money he made back home. [4]

In World War II, Rodham served in the United States Navy. He became a Chief Petty Officer stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Station, performing training duties for sailors headed for the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II. [4] After the war, he established a successful career in the textile supply industry, starting with Rodrik Fabrics, a drapery fabric business located in Chicago's famous Merchandise Mart building. [4] His company made draperies and window shades customers included offices, hotels, airlines, and theaters. [6] He later opened a fabric print plant building on the North Side. [4] The couple lived in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. [8]

Rodham entered politics once. Hoping to work his way into favor with the Cook County Democratic Party political machine in order to capitalize on a downtown investment he had made, he ran for Chicago alderman as a Democratic-leaning independent in 1947. [6] The contest, held in Chicago's 49th Ward, was won by Frank Keenan, a Democratic ward committeeman running on the regular Democratic line, with 17,073 votes a Republican, Joseph Reubens, finished second with 5,509 votes. [9] Rodham finished fifth out of eight candidates with only 382 votes, or 1.5 percent of the total votes cast. [9] According to some family members, this episode led to his strong dislike of the Democratic Party for the rest of his life. [6]

Rodham was a staunch supporter of Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign and remained a committed Republican until his death. Even after his daughter married Democrat Bill Clinton, he (according to Bill Clinton) "never gave up hope that his son-in-law would join him in the Republican Party and support a cut in the capital gains tax." [10] In late 1992, following son-in-law Bill Clinton's election as president, Rodham made a cameo appearance on the television comedy Hearts Afire, whose producers were friends of the Clintons. [11]

In 1937, while Rodham was making a sales call at a textile company, he met Dorothy Emma Howell (1919–2011), who was applying for a job at that company. [4] [7] After a lengthy courtship, they married in early 1942. [4] The Rodhams had three children: Hillary (born 1947), Hugh (born 1950), and Tony (1954–2019). In 1950, they moved to the more affluent Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, Illinois. [4] The family still maintained ties to Scranton: all three children were christened there, and they spent summers in a rural region that overlooks Lake Winola, located in Overfield Township in the Endless Mountains area of Pennsylvania. [4] [7] staying in a cottage that in 1921, Hugh and his father had built themselves. [12]

Death Edit

Hugh Rodham died in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Wednesday, April 7, 1993, five days after his 82nd birthday, three weeks after suffering a stroke, [11] and less than three months after Bill Clinton's inauguration as 42nd President of the United States. Following a private memorial service in Little Rock attended by the Clintons, he was buried in the Washburn Street Cemetery in his native Scranton, Pennsylvania, in a private funeral also attended by the Clinton family. [11]

Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Hillary Rodham Clinton (1947–)

On January 21, 2009, Hillary Rodham Clinton was sworn in as the 67th Secretary of State of the United States. Secretary Clinton joined the State Department after nearly four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, and Senator.

Secretary Clinton was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 26, 1947 to Dorothy Rodham and the late Hugh Rodham.

She attended local public schools before graduating from Wellesley College and Yale Law School, where she met Bill Clinton. In 1974, Secretary Clinton moved to Arkansas, a year later then married Bill Clinton and became a successful attorney while also raising their daughter, Chelsea. She was an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law, and after working to strengthen the local legal aid office, she was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1977 to serve on the board of the Legal Services Corporation, which she later chaired.

During her 12 years as First Lady of the State of Arkansas, she was Chairwoman of the Arkansas Education Standards Committee, co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, and served on the boards of the Arkansas Children's Hospital, and the Children's Defense Fund.

In 1992, Governor Clinton was elected President of the United States, and as First Lady, Hillary Clinton became an advocate of health care reform and worked on many issues relating to children and families. She led successful bipartisan efforts to improve the adoption and foster care systems, reduce teen pregnancy, and provide health care to millions of children through the Children's Health Insurance Program. She also traveled to more than 80 countries as a representative of our country, winning respect as a champion of human rights, democracy and civil society. Her famous speech in Beijing in 1995 -- when she declared that "human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights" – inspired women worldwide and helped galvanize a global movement for women’s rights.

With Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Secretary Clinton worked to launch the government’s Vital Voices Democracy Initiative. Today, Vital Voices is a non-governmental organization that continues to train and organize women leaders across the globe.

In 2000, Hillary Clinton made history as the first First Lady elected to the United States Senate, and the first woman elected statewide in New York. In the Senate, she served on the Armed Services Committee, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee, the Budget Committee and the Select Committee on Aging. She was also a Commissioner on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

As a Senator, Clinton worked across party lines to build support for causes important to her constituents and the country, including the expansion of economic opportunity and access to quality, affordable health care. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, she was a strong advocate for funding the rebuilding of New York and the health concerns of the first responders who risked their lives working at Ground Zero. She also championed the cause of our nation's military and fought for better health care and benefits for wounded service members, veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserves. She was also the only Senate member of the Transformation Advisory Group to the Department of Defense's Joint Forces Command.

In 2006, Senator Clinton won reelection to the Senate, and in 2007 she began her historic campaign for President. In 2008, she campaigned for the election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and in November, she was nominated by President-elect Obama to be Secretary of State.

Secretary Clinton is the author of best-selling books, including her memoir, Living History , and her groundbreaking book on children, It Takes A Village . She and President Clinton reside in New York.


Democratic primaries

As early as March 2008, Senator Clinton admitted to liking the idea of the "dream ticket"[1] - with only who would be on top left to decide. After handily winning the Ohio and Texas primaries, a string of wins brought her and Obama to an elected delegate tie until a sweeping victory in the Pennsylvania primary, after which Obama never recovered. On 20 May 2008, Obama conceded after the results of the Kentucky and Oregon primary results were in, polls successfully predicting that Oregon would be the last state Obama would carry. The concession was given in a joint appearance with Senator Clinton, who immediately announced her selection of Senator Obama as her running mate.

Clinton Presidential campaign

On November 4, 2008, Hillary Clinton defeated John McCain in the general election with 340 electoral votes to McCain's 198 and became the first Woman to be elected President of the United States, and Obama the first African-American Vice President. This also meant the Bush-Clinton dynasty would continue within the Presidency. On January 8, 2009, a joint session of the U.S. Congress certified the Electoral College votes, officially declaring that Clinton was elected President.


Background Edit

LSC is one of the organizational descendants of the former Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). [6] The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, a key part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society vision, established the OEO. Building on the work of a 1964 essay, "The War on Poverty: A Civilian Perspective" by Edgar Cahn and Jean Camper Cahn, in 1965 OEO budgeted $1 million per year [6] to create and fund 269 local legal services programs around the country, [7] such as California Rural Legal Assistance, [7] which made a name for themselves suing local officials and sometimes stirring up resentment against their federal funding. [7] Jean Cahn was the first director of the National Legal Services Program in OEO. [8]

By the early 1970s the Nixon administration began dismantling the OEO funding for legal services for the poor began to wither, and supporters looked for an alternative arrangement. [7] In 1971 a bipartisan congressional group, including Senators Ted Kennedy, William A. Steiger, and Walter Mondale, proposed a national, independent Legal Services Corporation [9] at the same time, administration officials such as Attorney General John N. Mitchell and chief domestic advisor John Ehrlichman were proposing their own somewhat similar solution. [9]

Creation and the Ford era Edit

The idea behind the LSC was to create a new corporate entity that would be funded by Congress but run independently, with eleven board members to be appointed by the President, subject to Senate confirmation. [7]

LSC was created by the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974 (Pub.L. 93–355). [10] The LSC Act contains certain rules and restrictions regarding what LSC grantees can do. [10] The initial budget was set at $90 million. [6]

Naming and confirmation of the first LSC board was delayed by inaction and opposition, [7] but by July 1975, President Gerald R. Ford had named and the Senate had approved the first board, with Cornell University Law School Dean Roger Conant Cramton as its first chair. [7] South Dakota legal services lawyer ad prosector Bill Janklow was another member of the initial board. [11]

Debate existed from the start among the board members as to whether LSC's role should be the same as the OEO's of using lawsuits and other means to attack broad underlying difficulties of the poor or whether the focus should be more narrowly defined to addressing small, specific situations. [6] [7] The LSC Act said that the organization was to pursue "equal access to justice," but Cramton wrote that while the law was intended to proscribe the blatantly-political objects of the 1960s OEO's work, it was worded ambiguously. [6]

Carter era Edit

In December 1977, President Jimmy Carter nominated Hillary Rodham to the board of directors of the LSC, [12] for a term to expire in July 1980. [12] Rodham, an attorney with Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas and the wife of Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton, had a background in children's law and policy and had worked in providing legal services for the poor while at Yale Law School. She had also done 1976 campaign coordination work for Carter in Indiana. [13] [14] This was a recess appointment, so Rodham took her place on the board without immediate Senate confirmation. Rodham was nominated again in January 1978 as a regular appointment. [15] In mid-1978, the Carter administration chose the thirty-year-old Rodham to become chair of the board, the first woman to become so. [6] The position entailed her traveling monthly from Arkansas to Washington, D.C. for two-day meetings. [6]

During Rodham's Senate confirmation hearings, she subscribed to the philosophy that LSC should seek to reform laws and regulations that it viewed as "unresponsive to the needs of the poor." [16] Rodham was successful in getting increases in Congressional funding for LSC, stressing its usual role in providing low-income people with attorneys to assist them in commonplace legal issues and framed its funding as being neither a liberal nor a conservative cause. [17] By her third year on the LSC board, Rodham had gotten the LSC budget tripled. [18] Opposition to LSC during this time came from both Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner, who favored a "judicare" approach of compensating private lawyers for work done for the poor, [18] and Conservative Caucus head Howard Phillips, who objected to LSC representing gays. [18]

LSC funding was at its highest-ever mark, in inflation adjusted dollars, in fiscal 1980, [14] [19] with a budget of $303 million. [20] Some 6,200 poverty lawyers filed suits using its funds on behalf of 1.5 million eligible poor clients [21] the lawyers won almost 80 percent of their cases, which mostly involved divorces, evictions, repossessions, and interrupted payments from federal agencies. [21] For fiscal 1981 it was budgeted at $321 million. [22]

In June 1980, Carter renominated Rodham for another term on the board, to expire in July 1983. [23] Sometime between about April 1980 [24] and September 1980, [25] F. William McCalpin replaced her as chair of the board. He would remain chair through late 1981. [26] [27] [28]

Reagan era Edit

LSC was strongly opposed by some political groups. As Governor of California in the 1960s, Ronald Reagan had advocated elimination of all federal subsidies for free legal services to the poor in civil cases, [21] and had tried to block a grant to California Rural Legal Assistance in 1970. [21] Indeed, Time magazine would state, "Of all the social programs growing out of the Great Society, there is none that Ronald Reagan dislikes more than the Legal Services Corporation." [22] The CRLA's executive director would characterize Reagan's attitude towards the organization as akin to that of Darth Vader. [22]

When President Reagan took office in January 1981, he attempted to eliminate the LSC by zero funding it. [21] Supporters of LSC rallied to defend it American Bar Association president W. Reece Smith, Jr. led 200 lawyers to Washington to press its case. [19] In response to Reagan's clear intentions against the LSC, the Coalition for Legal Services was formed to lobby outside, but on behalf of the LSC, which showed support via grant recipients. [29]

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee blocked Reagan's zero-funding action in May 1981, [30] but did cut financing to $260 million for both of the next two years as well as place additional restrictions on LSC lawyers. [30] By the following month, the now Republican-controlled U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee had cut proposed financing to $100 million, [31] as part of what The New York Times deemed an "increasingly bitter ideological struggle". [31] Moreover, Reagan administration officials accused LSC of having "concealed and understated" its lobbying activity and support for politically motivated legislation. [31]

In November 1981, the Reagan administration, although still hoping to eliminate LSC, decided to replace all eleven LSC board members with nominations of their own. [32] In return the LSC began to setup "mirror corporations" to circumvent congressional restrictions and reuse funds for political advocacy. [29] The proposed new chairman was Ronald Zumbrun, president of the ideologically opposite Pacific Legal Foundation, [32] which had previously defended the state of California against several legal aid lawsuits. [32] For fiscal 1982, LSC's budget was reduced by 25 percent to $241 million, [21] with new rules prohibiting most class action suits and lobbying. [21] Zumbrun's nomination was sufficiently controversial that in January 1982, the Reagan administration dropped it, and instead made a recess appointment of William J. Olson to be chair. [33] Olson had headed the Reagan transition team dealing with LSC and had personally recommended its abolition, so LSC advocates were not mollified. [33]

At the same time, the Reagan administration had named six other board members as recess appointments. [33] In February 1982, the Carter-appointed members of the previously existing board filed suit to against the recess appointments, claiming they were unlawful and that they should be enjoined from holding meetings. [34] Rodham hired fellow Rose Law Firm associate Vince Foster to represent her in the case [34] and to seek a restraining order against Reagan. [14] The Reagan nominees may have been prohibited from meeting with the Legal Service Corporation before confirmation. [14]

Rodham also prodded Senate Democrats to vote against Reagan's nominees. [14] The nominees did undergo heavy criticism in Congress, with one labeled a bigot and Olson lambasted for his transition position. [34] In March 1982, yet another new chair was named, Indiana University law professor William F. Harvey, [35] although Olson would remain on the board. [36] Harvey and Rodham had a conference call in which Rodham reiterated her desire for the lawsuit. [34] That action, McCalpin v. Dana, [37] was decided in favor of the defendants by summary judgment in October 1982. [37]

By December 1982, the Senate was willing to confirm six of Reagan's more moderate nominees, but not Harvey, Olson, and another [38] the Reagan administration instead pulled the names of all of them. [36] This board then closed its last meeting in a public debacle, [38] with Olson lambasting LSC as full of "abuses and rampant illegality" and a "waste of the taxpayers' money through the funding of the left," [38] while being harangued by a hostile audience. [38] And too, the Reagan appointees to the board were being criticized for collecting substantially higher fees than previous board members. [28] [38]

In September 1983 the General Accounting Office found that in early 1981, LSC officials and its local affiliates had used federal funds in assembling opposition to Reagan's efforts to eliminate LSC, and that this use had been in violation of the LSC Act's restrictions against such political activity. [39] Such actions against the LSC Act were not crimes, and the GAO report did not claim any crimes had taken place. [39] The investigation had been initiated by the LSC in 1983 ordering a series of "raids" on their own offices to attempt to discover evidence of questionable actions taken by the LSC in 1981, [22] prompting Time magazine to declare LSC "an organization at war with itself." [22]

More recess appointments were made by Reagan in late 1983, in 1984, and in early 1985, with again none of them being confirmed by the Senate. [37] Indeed, LSC's board would go a total of three and a half years populated by recess appointments. [37] Finally in June 1985 the Senate confirmed the latest batch of Reagan nominations. [37] The Carter board lawsuit, since renamed and appealed as McCalpin v. Durant to the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, was then decided later in June 1985 as moot. [37]

George H. W. Bush era Edit

Overt White House hostility towards LSC ended with the George H. W. Bush administration, with calls for level funding rather than decreases. [19] Under board chair George Wittgraff, LSC began to ease relations with private lawyers and with state grantees. [19] In fiscal 1992, LSC saw a funding increase back to $350 million. [19]

Clinton era Edit

Hillary Rodham's husband, the aforementioned Bill Clinton, took office as U.S. President in January 1993. The first two years of the Clinton administration saw more growth for LSC, as former chair McCalpin returned to the board and the previous former chair Hillary was now First Lady of the United States. [19] Funding rose to a high mark in absolute terms of $400 million for fiscal years 1994 and 1995. [19]

Things turned upon the advent of the Republican Revolution. [19] In fiscal 1996, once the Republican party had taken over Congress the year prior, LSC had its funding cut again, from $400 million to $278 million. [40] A new set of much more extensive restrictions were added to LSC grantees. The organization's supporters expressed disappointment that the Clinton administration did not make LSC a critical priority in its budget battles with the Republican Congress, especially given Hillary Clinton's former role in it. [40]

As part of a comprehensive "welfare reform" of federal welfare laws beginning in 1996, most significantly the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, Congress imposed restrictions on the types of work that LSC grantee legal services organizations could engage in. For example, LSC-funded organizations could no longer serve as counsel in class action lawsuits [40] challenging the way public benefits are administered. Additionally, LSC grantees faced tightened restrictions on representing immigrants, specifically those illegally in the country. [40] However, in 2001, the restriction on welfare advocacy was ruled unconstitutional in Legal Services Corp. v. Velazquez.

However, non-LSC funded organizations are not subject to these restrictions leading the legal services community to adopt a two-track approach: LSC restricted counsel taking on individual clients but not engaging in class actions, and non-restricted counsel (using private donor funding) both taking on individuals as well as engaging in otherwise restricted litigation. Poverty lawyers in both tracks still work together where they can, being careful not to run afoul of LSC restrictions.

George W. Bush era Edit

In 2004, veteran Legal Aid Society attorney Helaine M. Barnett was named President of the LSC. [41]

According to LSC's 2009 report "Documenting the Justice Gap in America: The Current Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans," all legal aid offices nationwide, LSC-funded or not, were together able to meet only about 20 percent of the estimated legal needs of low-income people in the United States. [42]

For 2007, LSC had a budget of some $350 million. [43]

Obama era Edit

In 2009 during the Obama administration, the LSC was on the path to getting a $50 million increase in its $390 million budget. [44]

However, the LSC came under criticism from Senator Charles Grassley, who said, "There's just a lot of money being wasted," citing several General Accounting Office and Inspector General reports. [44]

By fiscal 2011, the annual budget amount for the LSC was $420 million. [45] In early 2011, House now-majority Republican proposed a $75 million reduction in that current-year amount, while Obama's suggestion budget proposed a $30 million increase for the subsequent year. [45]

On December 16, 2014, the President signed into law the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act for FY 2015 that includes $375 million for LSC. [4]

Trump era Edit

Since 2017, the Trump administration has called for the elimination of funding for LSC. [46] LSC has strong bipartisan support on behalf of robust funding for LSC. External stakeholders, including members of the legal and business communities, state attorneys general, and law school deans across the country send letters to the House and Senate appropriations committees advocating for robust funding for LSC. They include:

  • 252 General Counsels from some of the largest American businesses, including Apple, American Express, Google, Walmart, General Motors, and Walt Disney.
  • 181 law firms from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • The Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators.
  • 41 bipartisan state Attorneys General.
  • 167 Deans of law schools.

In addition, 209 members of the House of Representatives signed a bipartisan letter in support of funding for LSC, the largest number in history, and 46 bipartisan Senators signed a similar letter in support of funding for LSC.

Due to the up-and-down nature of LSC's political history, there are many restrictions on lobbying, advocacy, and general impact work which apply to LSC-funded organizations. Here they are broken into categories of expressly forbidden, forbidden with LSC funds, and expressly permitted.

  • Publicly identify LSC or the recipient with any partisan or nonpartisan political activity or a candidate for office, or encourage others to do so (45 CFR 1608.4) [47]
  • Staff attorneys may not use their position or authority to influence elections or coerce anyone to contribute to a political cause (45 CFR 1608.5) [47]
  • Run for office (45 CFR 1608.5(c)) [47]
  • Register, transport to polls, or otherwise assist voters in election-related activities (45 CFR 1608.6) [47]
  • Use non-LSC funds for anything prohibited by the LSC Act, unless it is specifically allowed in 45 CFR 1610.4, 1610.6, or 1610.7 (45 CFR 1610.3) [47]
  • Lobby. In the language of the regulation, recipient organizations may not attempt to influence the passage or defeat of a bill, constitutional amendment, initiative, referendum, executive order, or provision which appropriates funds or defines the functions or authority of LSC or the recipient (45 CFR 1612.3). [47]
  • This includes using resources from a recipient organization to support lobbying efforts on employees' own time – don't even take an envelope! (45 CFR 1612.3(c)) [47]
  • The caveat is that organizations may lobby at the State and local level with non-LSC funds regarding funding for their organization (45 CFR 1612.6(f)). [47]
  • Grassroots lobby (45 CFR 1612.4) [47]
  • During working hours or with resources provided by an LSC-funded organization, employees may not participate or encourage others to participate in public demonstrations, boycotts, picketing, or strikes. This must be on personal time (45 CFR 1612.7(a)). [47]
  • Employees of recipients may never engage in rioting or civil disturbances, actions which violate a court-imposed injunction, or take part in illegal activity of any kind (45 CFR 1612.7(b)) [47]
  • Support or conduct training sessions which advocate particular public policies, encourage or facilitate prohibited political activities, disseminate information about such policies or activities, or train participants to engage in prohibited activities (45 CFR 1612.8(a)) [47]
  • Form or organize an association, labor union, or other similar organization. This is distinct from holding informational meetings for attorneys or forming organizations of eligible clients for advice on service delivery (both of which are allowed). You may also advise your clients on the legal procedures for forming these types of organizations themselves, and even help them with documents like bylaws (45 CFR 1612.9). [47]
  • Represent clients in criminal proceedings (unless you are appointed by a court or a situation arises out of your representation of the client in a civil case) (45 CFR 1613) [47]
  • Initiate or participate in a class action suit (45 CFR 1617.3), although you may represent individuals who want to remove themselves from the suit or have not received the settlement ordered by the court (45 CFR 1617.2(b)(2)). [47]
  • Provide legal assistance to ineligible aliens (45 CFR 1626.3 see 45 CFR 1626.5 to judge eligibility), unless the alien in question is, or is the parent of someone subject to battery or extreme cruelty by a spouse, parent, or member of their spouse's or parent's family residing in the same household. In this case, non-LSC funds must be used for the case (45 CFR 1626.4). [47]
  • Participate in any activity related to the redistricting of a legislative, judicial, or elective district at any level of government (45 CFR 1632.3) [47]
  • Defend clients in eviction proceedings from a public housing unit if that client has been charged with or convicted of the sale, distribution, or manufacture of controlled substances, or of possession with the intent to sell or distribute (45 CFR 1633.3) [47]
  • Participate in civil litigation on behalf of an incarcerated person, as plaintiff or defendant, nor any administrative hearing challenging the conditions of incarceration (45 CFR 1637.3) [47]
  • Represent, nor refer for representation by another recipient any client gained through in-person, unsolicited advice (45 CFR 1638.3)
  • Participate in legislation, lobbying, or rulemaking involving efforts to reform Federal or State welfare systems (45 CFR 1639.3) [47]
    was considered a victory by those trying to chip away at LSC regulations. It didn't change the overall prohibition, but it deleted the restriction barring litigation which attempts to change welfare law in the context of representing an individual client (45 CFR 1693.4). [47]

Recipients may, with non-LSC funding:

In many of their regulations, LSC only states activities that their funding cannot be used to support. In 45 CFR 1610.2(c)–(h), however, several different types of non-LSC funding are defined:

“(c) IOLTA funds means funds derived from programs established by State court rules or legislation that collect and distribute interest on lawyers' trust accounts. (d) Non-LSC funds means funds derived from a source other than the Corporation. (e) Private funds means funds derived from an individual or entity other than a governmental source or LSC. (f) Public funds means non-LSC funds derived from a Federal, State, or local government or instrumentality of a government. For purposes of this part, IOLTA funds shall be treated in the same manner as public funds. (h) Tribal funds means funds received from an Indian tribe or from a private nonprofit foundation or organization for the benefit of Indians or Indian tribes." [47]

With these definitions in mind, 45 CFR 1610.4 goes on to specify what each type of funding can be used for:

  • Tribal funds can be used for whatever purpose they were granted (45 CFR 1610.4(a)) [47]
  • Public, IOLTA, and Private funds can be used for whatever purpose they were granted, as long as it doesn't violate LSC's regulations (45 CFR 1610.4(b)-(c)) [47]
  • Non-LSC funds generally can be used to assist clients who are not financially eligible under LSC guidelines (45 CFR 1610.4(d)) [47]

In addition, the category of general non-LSC funds may be used to:

  • Support a political party, association, candidate, ballot measure, initiative, or referendum – but not during working hours or at the recipient's office location (45 CFR 1608.3(b)) [47]
  • Respond to a written request from an agency, legislative body, elected official, etc. to participate in rulemaking or to provide oral or written testimony in order to provide information which may include analysis and/or comments on legislation (45 CFR 1612.6(a)) [47]
  • However, you can only provide your testimony to the requesting party or parties – it cannot be distributed to a wider audience (45 CFR 1612.6(b)) [47]
  • You may not arrange for the written request (45 CFR 1612.6(c)) [47]
  • And, you must report this activity to LSC (45 CFR 1612.6(d)). [47]
  • Recipients may also provide oral or written comments to an agency in a public rulemaking session without having been requested (45 CFR 1612.6(e)) [47]
  • Lobby at the State or local level regarding the recipient's funding (45 CFR 1612.6(f)) [47]
  • Assist an ineligible alien or his or her child who has been subjected to battery and/ or extreme cruelty by the alien's parent, spouse, or a member of the parent's or spouse's family residing in the same household as the alien. To qualify, the alien him- or herself cannot have participated in the abuse, and the representation must be related to preventing or ending the abuse (45 CFR 1626.4(a)). [47]
  • Comment in a public rulemaking proceeding or respond to a written request for testimony in a legislative session or committee meeting concerning welfare reform (45 CFR 1639.5) [47]
  • Participate in legal activity which seeks to obtain or compel an individual or institution to provide or assist with euthanasia or assisted suicide (45 CFR 1643.3) or a "nontherapeutic abortion" (term not defined) (LSC Act §1007(b)(8) [48] or the 1996 Appropriations Act §504(a)(14)) [49]
  • Participate in legal activity seeking to desegregate elementary or secondary schools (LSC Act §1007(b)(9)) [48]
  • Participate in legal activity relating to violation(s) of the Military Selective Service Act or desertion from the Armed Forces of the United States (LSC Act §1007 (b)(10)) [48]

Recipients may, with any funding:

  • Accept fee-generating cases in situations in which local pro bono attorneys or the referral service are not viable options (45 CFR 1609.3) [47]
  • In terms of accounting, fees garnered from these services must go into the same category as the recipient's LSC grant in the same proportion that LSC funds supported the activity (versus other funds) (45 CFR 1609.4) [47]
  • This regulation was changed in Section 533 of the 2010 Appropriations Act from a statutory prohibition (which had been implemented in the 1996 Appropriations Act Section 504(a))
  • Accept reimbursement from clients for out-of-pocket expenses related to their case, if the client has agreed to pay ahead of time and in writing (45 CFR 1609.5(a)) [47]
  • Represent eligible clients at the administrative level (45 CFR 1612.5(a)) [47]
  • Initiate or participate in litigation challenging a governmental agency's rules, regulations, policies, etc. (45 CFR 1612.5(b)) [47]
  • Communication with an agency to receive information (45 CFR 1612.5(c)(2)) [47]
  • Informing clients, other recipients, etc. about new or proposed statutes, executive orders, or administrative regulations. Note that legislation is not listed here (45 CFR 1612.5(c)(3)). [47]
  • Contact LSC to comment on its rules (45 CFR 1612.5(c)(4)) [47]
  • Advise a client of his or her right to contact an elected official (45 CFR 1612.5(c)(6)) [47]
  • Provide assistance to eligible aliens (45 CFR 1626.5 also lists criteria for eligibility), as well as specific categories of other aliens (45 CFR 1626.10 and 1626.11) [47]

LSC is headed by an 11-member Board of Directors appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. [1] By law, the Board is bipartisan: no more than six members may be of the same political party. [1] The current composition of the board is:

Early life

The first president’s wife born after World War II, Hillary was the eldest child of Hugh and Dorothy Rodham. She grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, where her father’s textile business provided the family with a comfortable income her parents’ emphasis on hard work and academic excellence set high standards.

A student leader in public schools, she was active in youth programs at the First United Methodist Church. Although she later became associated with liberal causes, during this time she adhered to the Republican Party of her parents. She campaigned for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in 1964 and chaired the local chapter of the Young Republicans. A year later, after she enrolled at Wellesley College, her political views began to change. Influenced by the assassinations of Malcolm X, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr., she joined the Democratic Party and volunteered in the presidential campaign of antiwar candidate Eugene McCarthy.

After her graduation from Wellesley in 1969, Hillary entered Yale Law School, where she came under the influence of Yale alumna Marian Wright Edelman, a lawyer and children’s rights advocate. Through her work with Edelman, she developed a strong interest in family law and issues affecting children.


Clinton had no experience in such financial instruments. [3] Bill Clinton's salary as Arkansas Attorney General and then Governor of Arkansas was modest and Clinton later said she had been interested in building a financial cushion for the future. [4] [5] The Clintons' combined income in 1978 from the governorship and Rose Law Firm amounted to $51,173, [6] equivalent to $203,000 in 2020. James Blair was a friend, lawyer, outside counsel to Tyson Foods, Arkansas' largest employer, and had been doing so well trading commodities futures that he encouraged friends and family to enter the market too. [7] [4] [5] Blair in turn traded through, and relied upon cattle markets expertise from broker Robert L. "Red" Bone of Refco, a former Tyson executive. In October 1978, when Bill Clinton was Attorney General and on the verge of being elected Governor, [2] Clinton opened a trading account, although Blair made most of the trades.

By January 1979, Clinton was up $26,000 [5] but later, she would lose $16,000 in a single trade. [5] At one point she owed in excess of $100,000 to Refco as part of covering losses, but no margin calls were made by Refco against her. [5] Near the end of her trading, Blair correctly predicted a market downturn and sold short, giving her a $40,000 gain in one afternoon. [5] In July 1979, [2] once she became pregnant with Chelsea Clinton, "I lost my nerve for gambling [and] walked away from the table $100,000 ahead." [4] She briefly traded sugar futures contracts and other non-cattle commodities in October 1979, but more conservatively, through Stephens Inc. [5] [8] During this period she made about $6,500 in gains, which she failed to pay taxes on at the time, consequently later paying some $14,600 in federal and state tax penalties in the 1990s. [8] [9] Once her daughter was born in February 1980, she moved all her commodities gains into U.S. Treasury Bonds. [5]

The profits made during the cattle trading first came to public light in a March 18, 1994 report by The New York Times, which had been reviewing the Clintons' financial records for two months. [10] It coincided with the beginning of congressional hearings over the Whitewater controversy. [11] Clinton initially told aides that she had made the futures gains by studying the financial news and placing trades herself, but later acknowledged the help of Blair. Media pressure continued to build, and on April 22, 1994, she gave an unusual press conference under a portrait of Abraham Lincoln in the State Dining Room of the White House, to address questions on both matters it was broadcast live by CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN. [12] In it she said she had done the trading, but often relying upon the advice of Blair, and having him place orders for her she said she did not believe she had received preferential treatment in the process. [12] She also downplayed the dangers of such trading: "I didn't think it was that big a risk. [Blair] and the people he was talking with knew what they were doing." [7]

Various publications sought to analyze the likelihood of Clinton's successful results. Clinton made her money by betting mostly on a market downturn at a time when cattle prices actually doubled. [13] The editor of the Journal of Futures Markets said in April 1994, "This is like buying ice skates one day and entering the Olympics a day later. She took some extraordinary risks." [3] Her activities involved exposure to losses that could have been greater than her family's net worth if the market had turned sharply against her. [14] The former head of the IRS chief counsel’s Commodities Industry Specialization Team expressed skepticism that a novice trader could make such a return. [15] One analysis performed by Auburn University and published in the Journal of Economics and Finance claimed to find that the odds of a return as large as Clinton obtained during the period in question were about one in 31 trillion. [16] [17] [18]

Chicago Mercantile Exchange records indicated that $40,000 of her profits came from larger trades initiated by James Blair. According to exchange records, "Red" Bone, the commodities broker that facilitated the trades on behalf of Refco, reportedly because Blair was a good client, allowed Clinton to maintain her positions even though she did not have enough money in her account to cover her activity. For example, she was allowed to order 10 cattle futures contracts, normally a $12,000 investment, in her first commodity trade in 1978 although she had only $1,000 in her account at the time. [19] Bone denied any wrongdoing in conjunction with Clinton's trading and said he did not recall ever dealing with Clinton personally. [3] [8]

As it happened, during the period of Clinton's trading, Refco was under investigation by the Mercantile Exchange for systematic violations of its margin trading rules and reporting requirements regarding cattle trading. [3] [8] In December 1979, the exchange issued a three-year suspension to Bone and a $250,000 fine of Refco (at the time, the largest such penalty imposed by the exchange). [3] [8]

After the Clinton trading matter became public, Leo Melamed, a former chairman of the Mercantile Exchange, was brought in by request of the White House to review the trading records. On April 11, 1994, he said that the whole matter was "a tempest in a teapot" and that while her brokers had not required her to provide typical margin cushions, she had not knowingly benefited. [9] On May 26, 1994, after the new records concerning the larger Blair trades came to light, he said "I have no reason to change my original assessment. Mrs. Clinton violated no rules in the course of her transactions." [19] But as to the question of whether she had been allocated profits from larger block trades, he said of the new accounting, "It doesn't suggest that there was allocation, and it doesn't prove there wasn't," [20] an assessment of uncertainty shared by Merton Miller, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. [20]

Hillary Clinton's defenders, including White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler, maintained throughout that she had made her own decisions, that her own money was constantly at risk, and that she made both winning and losing trades throughout the ten months. [21] Regarding suggestions that Blair had favored Clinton so that Tyson Foods could gain influence with Governor Clinton, they pointed out that CEO Don Tyson, who had in 1978 endorsed Clinton, in 1980 endorsed Frank D. White, Clinton's opponent in his reelection bid. Tyson denied any knowledge of Blair's trading partnership with Clinton. The New York Times noted, however, that notwithstanding Hillary Clinton's "artful explanation", the commodities trading had ended over a year before the 1980 election and that Tyson had switched sides after Bill Clinton did not lobby the state legislature to increase the weight limit on trucks, although Tyson believed that he had received such a promise from him at the time of the 1978 election. [12] [21] [22]

Clinton's defenders also stressed that Blair and others stayed in the market longer than Clinton and lost much of what they had previously earned, showing that the risk was real. [4] Indeed, some reports had Blair losing $15 million [23] and Bone was reported as bankrupt. [10]

There never was any official governmental investigation into, [4] or findings about, or charges brought regarding Hillary Rodham's cattle futures trading. [7]

Hillary Clinton

During the 1992 presidential campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton observed, “Our lives are a mixture of different roles. Most of us are doing the best we can to find whatever the right balance is. For me, that balance is family, work, and service.”

Hillary Diane Rodham, Dorothy and Hugh Rodham’s first child, was born in Chicago on October 26, 1947, and raised in suburban Park Ridge, Illinois. Life for the Rodhams was comfortable, centered in family, friends, school, and the Methodist church. Hillary’s parents expected her to study hard, and she was a student leader in high school. After a youth minister took her to hear Martin Luther King Jr. speak in Chicago, she began to have a wider view of the world.

As an undergraduate at Wellesley College, Hillary combined academic excellence with service in student government. Speaking at graduation, she told her classmates, “The challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible.” She enrolled in Yale Law School, where she served on the Board of Editors of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action, interned with children’s advocate Marian Wright Edelman, and met William Jefferson Clinton.

After graduation, Hillary Rodham advised the Children’s Defense Fund in Cambridge and joined the impeachment inquiry staff advising the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. Then she “followed her heart to Arkansas,” where Bill had begun his political career. They married in 1975. She joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas Law School, and in 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the board of the Legal Services Corporation. Bill Clinton was elected governor of Arkansas, and in 1980 their daughter, Chelsea, was born. For twelve years, as Arkansas’s first lady, Hillary balanced family, law, and public service. Then Bill was elected president.

As the nation’s first lady, Mrs. Clinton chaired the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. Never before had a first lady been so directly involved in public policy. She led the fight to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program worked to increase funding for research and treatment of cancer, AIDS, osteoporosis, and juvenile diabetes chaired Save America’s Treasures and supported gun control efforts. She wrote two best-selling books and won a Grammy award for her recording of It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us.

In 2000 Hillary was elected senator from New York, and her work in health, education, aging, and the environment gained her national reputation in her own right. In 2007 she ran for president. After a hard-fought primary she lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama but quickly supported his candidacy. When he was elected, he named her secretary of state. For four years Hillary traveled the world on behalf of U.S. interests.

In 2015 Hillary Clinton launched her second presidential campaign and in July 2016 became the first woman in American history to receive the presidential nomination of a major political party. That fall, she received more than 65 million votes but ultimately lost the Electoral Collect to Republican nominee Donald J. Trump.