Dedication to Senator Birch E. Bayh
Dedication to Senator Birch E. Bayh
John D. Feerick 0 1 2
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1 John D. Feerick, Dedication to Senator Birch E. Bayh , 86 Fordham L. Rev. 907 (). Available at:
2 Fordham University School of Law
Law; Constitutional Law; Law and Politics; Legal Biography; Legal History; President/Executive
Thi s foreword is available in Fordham Law Review: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/flr/vol86/iss3/17
DEDICATION TO SENATOR BIRCH E. BAYH
John D. Feerick*
Former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana has been honored many times
for his outstanding career in public service. Fordham University School of
Law and the Fordham Law Review have been beneficiaries of his selfless
service of others.
In 1976, he participated in a major program, published in a special issue of
the Law Review, concerning the selection of Vice Presidents of the United
States.1 In 2010, he participated in a three-day program, also published in
the Law Review,2 on the adequacy of the presidential succession system. The
Law Review issue tied to the symposium included an oral history with Senator
Bayh that resulted from an interview in his home by two Fordham Law
Review editors.3 Of his role in the symposium, former Dean of Fordham Law
School William M. Treanor said,
I am . . . deeply grateful to Senator Bayh, one of the great legislators of our
time as well as the principal architect of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment.
Senator Bayh was involved in planning the Symposium almost from its
outset, and his participation was critical to the Symposium’s success.
Moreover, in addition to speaking at the Symposium with extraordinary
* Norris Professor of Law, Founder and Senior Counsel of the Feerick Center for Social
Justice, Fordham University School of Law. I acknowledge with the deepest of appreciation
Adjunct Professor John Rogan for his outstanding work in the development of the symposium
and for his assistance with this Dedication. I also acknowledge the students of the Presidential
Succession Clinic for all of their superb efforts, especially on the Clinic’s report and the
presentation of their recommendations at the symposium
FORDHAM LAW REVIEW
eloquence and power, he literally sat on stage during the panels to offer
insights, and all who sat in the audience felt as if they were eyewitnesses to
In the 2010 to 2011 academic year, Senator Bayh participated in Fordham
Law School’s first Presidential Succession Clinic, the report from which was
published in volume 81 of the Law Review, entitled, “Ensuring the Stability
of Presidential Succession in the Modern Era.”5 Similarly, in the 201
academic year, Senator Bayh was an inspiring presence in the school’s
second Presidential Succession Clinic, whose report is featured in this
volume.6 He was the first of many experts to speak with the clinic students,
who drew encouragement from his words.
In an earlier period of time, in the 1960s, he drew into his work in the
crafting of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment three articles published in the
Fordham Law Review that I was privileged to write.7
Senator Bayh has lived a storied life in the service of others and as the
framer of two constitutional amendments—the Twenty-Fifth and
TwentySixth Amendments—and a third constitutional amendment on equal rights
that passed the Congress by two-thirds of each house and was ratified by 35
states, just three states short of adoption.8 Raised on his family farm in Terre
Haute, Indiana, and after attending Purdue University School of Agriculture
and serving in the U.S. Army, Senator Bayh began his incredible political
career at age twenty-six, starting as a member of the Indiana State
Legislature, where he served as Minority Leader and then as Speaker of its
House of Representatives.9 This was followed by his election in 1962, at the
age of thirty-four, to the U.S. Senate, where he served three terms until
1981.10 His service in the Senate and legislative accomplishments were
nothing short of spectacular, as outlined in volume 79 of the Fordham Law
I asked Jason Berman, a Chief of Staff and legislative aide to Senator Bayh,
about the Senator’s greatest accomplishments, and he pointed to his service
as the gatekeeper to the Constitution in his role as chair of the Senate
DEDICATION TO SEN. BIRCH BAYH
Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. Jason
wrote, “Our campaign reelection theme in 1968 was ‘One Man Who Made
A Difference.’ Birch did.”12
On a personal note, Senator Bayh has been a role model for me of an
extraordinary lawyer in the service of others and a friend in public life
without peer for me. I am delighted that the Law School and Law Review
decided to recognize him in this manner and to be afforded the opportunity
to write this dedication honoring a truly great lawyer.
1. See generally Symposium on the Vice Presidency: American Bar Association Special Committee on Election Reform, 45 FORDHAM L. REV. 707 ( 1977 ).
2. See generally Symposium, The Adequacy of the Presidential Succession System in the 21st Century: Filling the Gaps and Clarifying the Ambiguities in Constitutional and Extraconstitutional Arrangements, 79 FORDHAM L . REV. 775 ( 2010 ) ; see also Symposium: The Adequacy of the Presidential Succession System in the 21st Century, Part 1 , FORDHAM L. ARCHIVE SCHOLARSHIP & HIST. (Apr . 10, 2010 ), http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ twentyfifth_amendment_photos/2/ [https://perma.cc/BLW2-SL3H] (providing a video recording of the symposium ).
3. A Modern Father of Our Constitution: An Interview with Former Senator Birch Bayh, 79 FORDHAM L . REV. 781 , 783 ( 2010 ) [hereinafter A Modern Father of Our Constitution] .
4. William Michael Treanor , The Adequacy of the Presidential Succession System in the 21st Century: Filling the Gaps and Clarifying the Ambiguities in Constitutional and Extraconstitutional Arrangements: Introduction, 79 FORDHAM L . REV. 775 , 777 ( 2010 ).
5. Fordham Univ . Sch. of Law's Clinic on Presidential Succession, Report, Ensuring the Stability of Presidential Succession in the Modern Era, 81 FORDHAM L. REV. 1 , 8 ( 2012 ).
6. Second Fordham Univ. Sch. of Law Clinic on Presidential Succession, Report, Fifty Years After the Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Recommendations for Improving the Presidential Succession System, 86 FORDHAM L . REV. 917 ( 2017 ).
7. See BIRCH BAYH , ONE HEARTBEAT AWAY: PRESIDENTIAL DISABILITY AND SUCCESSION , at ix ( 1968 ). See generally John D. Feerick, The Problem of Presidential Inability-Will Congress Ever Solve It?, 32 FORDHAM L . REV. 73 ( 1963 ) ; John D. Feerick, The Proposed Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, 34 FORDHAM L . REV. 173 ( 1965 ) ; John D. Feerick, The Vice-Presidency and the Problems of Presidential Succession and Inability, 32 FORDHAM L . REV. 457 ( 1964 ).
8. See A Modern Father of Our Constitution, supra note 3 , at 782-83.
9. See id. at 781.
10. Id .
11. See id. at 781-83.