Former Clinton Speechwriter to Lecture About the Supreme Court

March 22, 2012 – Jeff Shesol, a historian, communications strategist and former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, will give a presentation called “Supreme Power: FDR’s Court Fight - and Barack Obama’s” on April 5 at 7 p.m. in Dutchess Community College’s James and Betty Hall Theatre. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Shesol will discuss the battle between President Franklin Roosevelt and the conservative majority of the Supreme Court, which rejected the major principles of the president’s New Deal, prompting Roosevelt’s subsequent strategy to pack the court with liberals. In addition, Shesol will talk about President Obama’s relationship with the Supreme Court and its recent decision on campaign spending and its current deliberation on health care reform.

Shesol’s most recent book is called “Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. The Supreme Court.” His previous book, “Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy and the Feud That Defined a Decade,” was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Washington Post Critic’s Choice. He was Deputy Chief Speechwriter for President Clinton, playing a leading role in creating two State of the Union Addresses among hundreds of others between 1997 and 2000. A Rhodes Scholar, Shesol earned his master’s degree from Oxford University.

The lecture is sponsored by the Handel Family Endowed Faculty Chair to Perpetuate the Legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Dutchess Community College and the Gillespie Forum. Shesol was invited to campus by Dr. Andrew Rieser, head of DCC’s History, Government and Economics Department.

For more information, call the DCC Foundation at (845) 431-8400 .

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