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Joel K. Goldstein
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Joel K. Goldstein is the Vincent C. Immel Professor of Law at Saint Louis University School of Law. He is the author of The Modern American Vice Presidency: The Transformation of a Political Institution (Princeton University Press, 1982) and numerous other works about the vice presidency, presidency and constitutional law. He is currently working on a new book on the vice presidency from Mondale to the present.

Entries by Joel K. Goldstein

Biden at Yale: New Beginnings

(1) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 1:13 PM

Spring is, of course, the season of optimism, not only from nature's annual re-beginnings but from the emotions at the thousands of graduation ceremonies around the country.

Commencements are occasions for wisdom and inspiration, but few of this season's events will match the remarks Vice President Joe Biden gave at...

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Continuity of Government 50 Years after S.J. Res. 139

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 5:18 PM

Fifty years ago, on September 28 and 29, 1964, the Senate unanimously approved S.J. Res. 139, the outline for the Twenty-fifth Amendment which provided procedures to fill a vice-presidential vacancy and to declare a presidential inability. That Amendment occurred after a talented young senator, Birch Bayh, led a bipartisan effort...

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Helping Others Think: A Tribute to Edwin M. Yoder, Jr. at 80

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 4:21 PM

A friend reaching fourscore seems an appropriate occasion to supplement the normal birthday greetings with a tribute, at least when the friend is not simply a Pulitzer Prize winning editorial writer and former syndicated columnist but a wise and gifted thinker who has generously and masterfully shared written thoughts with...

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Opening Doors: Mondale, Ferraro and the Legacy of July 12

(0) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 12:31 PM

Thirty years ago on July 12 Walter Mondale did what had never been done before -- he put someone other than a white male on a major party presidential ticket. The historic selection of Representative Geraldine Ferraro on that day culminated a process whereby Mondale transparently considered able members of...

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Brown v. Board of Education at 60

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 6:31 PM

Supreme Court decisions are important not only for what they decide but for the reasoning that produces or explains the ultimate result. That is particularly important in iconic decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education, decided 60 years ago.

Brown, of course, unanimously held that racial segregation in public...

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The Edmund Muskie Brand of Leadership

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 11:26 AM

Political leadership matters, but it seems a vanishing commodity. These days statesmanship is a disappearing art, compromise a lost disposition, and political courage rarely demonstrated. So the centennial of the birth of Edmund S. Muskie on March 28 offers an opportunity to remember a great political leader of the second...

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Government Continuity: Accidents Waiting to Happen

(0) Comments | Posted December 26, 2013 | 8:44 AM

Fifty years ago, during the month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Birch Bayh (D. Ind.) introduced S.J. Res. 139 to address gaps in America's provisions to ensure presidential continuity. As modified, Bayh's proposal became the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution which provided procedures to fill a...

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JFK's Legacy After the 'Kennedy Half Century'

(1) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 9:44 AM

Fifty years after Dallas, we are still trying to come to grips with the presidency and legacy of John F. Kennedy. Although his presidency was the seventh shortest in our history, public opinion polls during the last decade or so have consistently ranked him among our very best presidents. One...

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Public Citizens in Our Towns

(2) Comments | Posted August 7, 2013 | 8:37 AM

When I read This Town, Mark Leibovich's riveting new best seller about political life in our nation's capital, I couldn't help but remember my friend, Tom Eagleton.

For one of the jarring messages of Leibovich's book comes from his account of how former senators and representatives routinely become permanent...

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Joe Biden and Vice Presidential Leadership

(37) Comments | Posted June 23, 2013 | 6:20 PM

Public discussion of Vice President Joe Biden tends to focus on the 2016 presidential campaign. No matter that the first delegates won't be chosen for 30 months or so, the usual stories ask "Will he run?" or "Won't he?" And if he does, they report, he's behind former Secretary of...

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Obama and the Rhetorical Presidency: Lessons From June 1963

(1) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 11:03 AM

The presidency, Theodore Roosevelt famously declared, is a "bully pulpit." And especially when a president faces an intransigent Congress, as President Barack Obama does, the ability to use the White House to sound important themes may be one of the presidency's principal institutional advantages.

Should President Obama elect to use...

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The Legacy of a Liberal

(67) Comments | Posted May 26, 2011 | 2:39 PM

In recent decades, our political discourse has often been dominated by the claim that federal government cannot properly or effectively create public programs regulating individual behavior to pursue a more just and flourishing American society. The presidency of Ronald Reagan gave voice to that belief and the centennial of his...

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Mondale-Ferraro: Changing History

(5) Comments | Posted March 27, 2011 | 5:34 PM

Although 2008 was the year when America demonstrated that presidential politics was accessible to African-Americans and women, it was the 1984 campaign when the doors were first pushed open. And the two people most responsible for the change were Walter F. Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro. Their campaign is most often...

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A Good Man's Good Fights

(15) Comments | Posted December 30, 2010 | 1:26 PM

Walter F. Mondale was a central figure in the United States Senate during its peak years from 1964 to 1976. Only 46 other men have served as vice president, a tiny number over 221 years of American history. Of them, Mondale was the one who transformed the office from...

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