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Deborah Rhode, who transformed the field of legal ethics, dies at 68

She is survived by her husband and sister, Christine Rhode.

Ms Rhode attended New Trier East High School, where she was a champion of the debate, often confronting fellow future law star Merrick Garland, the federal judge appointed attorney general of the Biden administration, who attended Niles West High School nearby.

Arriving at Yale in 1970 as part of what was only the school’s second coeducational class, Ms. Rhode found herself with almost no professors or organizations dedicated to women’s issues. Undergraduates, she later wrote, were meant to be seen and not heard.

But Ms. Rhode made sure to be heard. She was the first woman elected President of the Yale Debate Association, following in the footsteps of John Kerry and William F. Buckley Jr. and defeating her future husband, Mr. Cavanagh, by a resounding 23-3 vote.

“I followed her with keen interest afterwards,” Cavanagh said in an interview.

Despite her academic success, Ms. Rhode continued to face barriers due to her gender. Although Yale is a student, the Yale Club in New York City was not. When she insisted on entering anyway, she was escorted. She also struggled to get internships; many judges have more or less refused to hire women.

Two who were not were Judge Murray I. Surfein, of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, for whom she worked after graduating, and Judge Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court, where Ms Rhode took a desk down the hall from his old debate. adversary, Mr. Garland, clerk of Judge William Brennan.

Justice Marshall encouraged her interest in becoming a law professor, though he teased her about teaching about sex discrimination. “In most countries,” he joked, “it seems to come naturally.”

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Madeleine Dean: charge official points out her experience in ethics

WASHINGTON – A week ago, Representative Madeleine Dean, Democrat of Pennsylvania, was among lawmakers hiding on the floor of the House gallery, donning an emergency hood as tear gas was fired into the rotunda and demonstrators threatened to enter the room.

Ms Dean, almost two weeks into her second term, is now one of the impeachment officials that President Nancy Pelosi of California has appointed to present the case of President Trump’s impeachment on the grounds that he committed serious crimes and offenses.

“The President and many members of this chamber have shamelessly peddled dangerous untruths about this election – despite warnings as to the destination of those lies,” Ms. Dean told the House before voting to impeach Mr. Trump. “Last Wednesday, those lies and dangers found their way inside this Capitol. This hateful rhetoric is another virus – it’s time to take down its host. “

Within the Democratic caucus, she was one of the earliest supporters of continuing an impeachment inquiry against the president just over a year ago and has shown little reluctance in approving a second impeachment. charge.

In an opinion piece that appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer after she voted to impeach Mr. Trump in 2019, Ms. Dean admitted that she challenged a number of the president’s policies, such as his “indifference to the environment” and ” inhumanity and brutality towards the vulnerable. ”But she added that while these were not open to attack, the articles of indictment, rooted in“ attacks on our constitutional order ”, were of another case.

“To heal, we need responsibility and truth,” Ms. Dean said Wednesday. “It starts with recognizing the President’s dangerous lies and their deadly consequences.”

At 19, Ms Dean volunteered for her first campaign for a state representative, where she met her husband. After earning a law degree and opening her own practice, she changed careers to become an Assistant Professor in the English Department at La Salle University and taught writing and ethics.

She was elected state representative in 2012 and then applied for a seat in Congress after the 2016 election. In Congress, she won a seat on the House Judiciary Committee. She won her second term by 19 points in November.

Hidden in her pocket Constitution, which she takes with her at all times, is a copy of the Beatitudes.

“I carry them with me because one is a guide to life – a high standard to achieve – and the other is the law of the land,” Ms. Dean said. “One is how to live as a human being and how to live as a citizen.”

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Pelosi: A vote and ethics measure is “first on the agenda” of the new Congress.

President Nancy Pelosi of California announced on Friday that in the early days of the new Congress, House Democrats would reconsider their ambitious legislation to tighten restrictions on ethics and lobbying, remove barriers to voting and reduce the influence of money in politics.

This legislation – designated HR 1 as a sign of its importance to the Democratic caucus – allowed the House to vote party-line in the early days of the 116th Congress, but was not passed in the Republican-controlled Senate. His prospects for next year were unclear, as Democrats’ hopes of taking control of the Senate dwindled.

Ms Pelosi said legislation “will be first on the agenda,” speaking at her weekly press conference, but acknowledged the political realities of a likely divided government.

She also referred to infrastructure legislation as one of the cases where the two sides could find a compromise and successfully pass laws in a divided government.

“We have a responsibility to find our common ground,” said Pelosi.

With tens of millions still suffering from the continuing toll of the pandemic and the federal government poised to run out of money on December 11 without congressional action, Ms Pelosi insisted she wanted to see another relief program and omnibus spending program. become law before Christmas and the end of the current Congress.

“We want Republicans to come back to the table,” Pelosi said of the coronavirus relief negotiations, which stagnated again in the days leading up to the election. But she dismissed the Republicans’ new push for a reduced package, saying, “I’m not interested at all because they still haven’t agreed to crush the virus.”

The Speaker of the House also said she did not speak to Joseph R. Biden Jr., who on Friday was leading in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona and had nearly doubled his lead in Nevada. She suggested that the two were unlikely to talk about the traditional transition stages before a winner was declared.

“He’s so wonderful that way,” Ms. Pelosi said, calling him a “beautiful, fitting person”.

Ms Pelosi’s press conference came less than 24 hours after Democrats exchanged blame in a caucus meeting held over the phone over the loss of some House seats in this week’s election. On Thursday, she defended the Democratic Party’s efforts to make gains in the House and Senate in the first caucus conversation since polling day.

“We did not win all the battles, but we won the war,” said Pelosi.