Former U.S. attorney general to give Wayne Morse Center keynote

October 13, 2020 - 5:00am

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will give the keynote address for the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics’ 20th anniversary.

The virtual event, “Defending Democracy: A Conversation with Eric H. Holder, Jr., 82nd Attorney General of the United States (2009-2015),” will be held at noon Oct. 20 and is free and open to the public. Registration is required. See the Morse Center's 20th anniversary website for more information.

A leading progressive voice, Holder has been instrumental in shaping the direction of the United States on a number of critical issues at the intersection of law and policy.

“Many scholars describe the past four years as a stress test for our constitutional democracy, with its vulnerabilities laid bare,” said Rebecca Dinwoodie Flynn, Wayne Morse Center co-director. “At this time of crisis, we wanted to hear from Eric Holder, a highly respected public servant who is uniquely positioned to advise what can and should be done to strengthen our democratic institutions.” 

The third longest-serving attorney general in U.S. history and the first African American to hold that office, Holder is an advocate for civil voting rights and is active in gerrymandering reform as chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. He spent more than a decade in the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice prosecuting corrupt government officials and was appointed to legal positions by presidents of both parties, including a judgeship by Ronald Reagan.

"Holder’s distinctive experience gives him a broad and deep understanding of the challenges we currently face as a nation,” Dinwoodie Flynn said.  

This event is sponsored by the Morse Center's Public Affairs Speaker Series. It's also part of the African American Workshop and Lecture Series, which is sponsored by the Office of the President and coordinated by the Division of Equity and Inclusion.

It is also part of the Lorwin Lectureship on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. It is co-sponsored by the UO Department of Political Science, UO School of Law, UO Division of Equity and Inclusion and public radio station KLCC.