UW School of Law > News > Multimedia Gallery > Miller Transcript

Civil Rights and American Values – Understanding the Legacy of Senator Henry M. Jackson and its Relationship to the Emergence of Disability Human Rights

By Paul Steven Miller, Henry M. Jackson Professor of Law
January 24, 2008

Dean Gregory Hicks: Everyone, welcome to this very happy event. It's a wonderful day where we get to honor our friend and colleague, Professor Paul Miller, in his installation as the Henry M. Jackson Professor of Law.

Thank you all for being here. If you do have cell phones, could you please see that they are in quiet mode. I was asked one small announcement: for those of you who are seeking a CLE credit, we do have a half hour of CLE credit available. So, the form is out on the table so do feel free to claim that.

We are here just, as I say, to honor Professor Miller. First, let me recognize a few distinguished guests here: Ana Mari Cauce, Executive Vice-Provost and the Dean designate of the College of Arts and Sciences; distinguished alumni we have here from both the Washington Law School Foundation and the Law School Alumni Association and members of the Bar. Among them I think is Judge Fletcher - is Betty Fletcher here and Bob Fletcher, our emeritus faculty member. Perhaps not but welcome if I haven't seen you and you are here.

And members of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation Board of Governors: Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director James Barry, Thomas Dixon, Robert Druell, Rich Ellings, Craig Gannett, Susan Gola, who is also a daughter of one of our graduates, the class of 1936, Stanley Gola, Eileen Gravy-Holson and Carol Harris. Peter Jackson and Ann Marie Lawrence, the son and daughter of Senator Jackson are here; Professor Kenneth Pyle of the Jackson School and William Van Ness.

I'd also like to acknowledge members of Professor Miller's family who just swept in a whirlwind and delighted us all; his daughters, Delia Meacham Miller and Naomi Meacham Miller and his wife, Jennifer Meacham.

These events, as we've been going through them over the course of the year have had both a sense of academic ceremony but I think also real familial warmth. We are here together as members of our extended law school family, and Professor Miller's immediate family just makes that warmth all the greater.

We are gathered here in the Henry M. Jackson and Warren Magnuson Courtroom. This recognition of our two leading lights for so many years is altogether appropriate and makes the installation of the Jackson Professorship here, again, all the more appropriate.

I had a series of meetings in recent weeks with various people around town, and one of the things I came away with was just this recollection that many of them were so-called 'bumble bees', people who had gone back and served on Senator Jackson or Magnuson's staffs back in Washington over the years and you realize just how powerful that connection is, how important it is for our region. Some of our leading public citizens have had that as part of their training, and so we're here just to celebrate that legacy.

This is the fourth of eight professorial installations that we're doing this academic year. On each occasion I've just noted the importance of these named professorships. They add very deserved luster to our faculty for their scholarly accomplishments and contributions to public service. They raise our national profile. They create the ability for the law school, both to attract and to retain wonderful scholars, such as Professor Miller. The material support that the professorships provide in terms of research assistance, ability to travel and to invite colleagues to have conferences that is greatly meaningful as is the honor that goes along with holding this.

So, we celebrate, and we are so grateful for the vision of the contributors who understand how much an endowment of this sort can mean to the life of the law school. Along those lines, a special thanks to the donors of this professorship, members of the Class of 1935, Senator Jackson's classmates who on the occasion of their 50th reunion began the process of raising the money to create this professorship together with the help of the Jackson Foundation who were able to make this a reality. Again, as I say, these gifts live on in perpetuity, and it means so much.

Scoop Jackson, in particular, was a great champion of this university and of this law school and very important in the university's having attained the prominence that it has in so many areas during his time in the Senate and time in the House of Representatives, being a tireless champion of this university. We have reason to be very grateful for that.

So, if I may, just without more introduce Lara Iglitzin who is Executive Director of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation. She has served in that capacity since 1995. She did her undergraduate work here at the University of Washington in Russian and Eastern European Studies and holds a master's degree in Russian History and Russian Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and from Georgetown University. So, Lara, if I may invite you to the podium now and say a few words about Senator Jackson, please.

Lara Iglitzin: Thank you very much, Dean Hicks. I don't think I've ever had an opportunity to correct a law school dean, but I think that it was Maggie's 'bumble bees' and Scoop's 'troops'. We like to keep those separate, but we don't mind being associated with the 'bumble bees', I'm sure.

Well, as you heard, Senator Jackson was a proud graduate of the University of Washington Law School, Class of 1935. He always remained very loyal to the law school and to the university. When he first came to the university in 1930 both our country and the state of Washington were in a deep depression, and he didn't have much money.

During law school he worked as a cook in the Delta Chi fraternity house to make ends meet. He was up at five a.m. for the breakfast shift helping the cook and ending his day at midnight with his studies, but he always felt that law school had really gotten him off to a good start in life. I guess considering his nearly 44 years as a public servant, as an influential United States Senator and as an international statesman that certainly proved him right.

As Dean Hicks said, in 1985 at their 50th reunion Senator Jackson's classmates got together and started this process of trying to establish a professorship in the name of their esteemed classmate. We were glad to have been asked near the end of this effort to make the final last gift to put the professorship over the top and to make it a reality, and we're really delighted to have done so. We're very grateful to the classmates, a few of whom are still with us in spirit; I guess, in actuality but not here today. We're very grateful to them for taking that first step.

On behalf of our Board of Governors and particularly on behalf of the Chairman of our Board, Helen Jackson, we are very pleased to participate in this installation of the new Henry Jackson Professor of Law, and we're looking forward to hearing Professor Miller's remarks. We have already had the pleasure of meeting with Professor Miller and speaking with him on numerous occasions, and we know him to be an extraordinary individual, a leader in his field and one who will certainly uphold the Jackson mantle with distinction. We're delighted about that.

It's now my honor to introduce another professor of law, Anna Mastroianni, who is a professor of law here at the University of Washington. She joined the faculty in 1998. She's a specialist in health policy, law and bioethics. If that weren't enough for one human being, she's also an adjunct faculty member at the School of Public Health, where, I believe you got a degree here as well at the university and at the School of Medicine.

Professor Mastroianni also has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and we're certainly fortunate to have her with us to introduce Professor Miller tonight. Thank you!

[clapping]

Anna Mastroianni: Thank you, thank you for that introduction. It is a pleasure and an honor to be asked to introduce Professor Miller on his installation as the Henry M. Jackson Professor of Law. It is a both a pleasure and an honor because Paul is a friend, a colleague, a fellow parent, a college classmate and as you may have already gathered, an inspiration. Right, Naomi? Right, Delia?

There are early inklings of Paul's future passions. A letter that hangs in his office is from then Senator Hubert Humphrey whom Paul wrote in 1977. Senator Humphrey urges Paul to remember that his job back then was to work hard to succeed in high school. Here we quote: "You asked my advice in helping you to point out a way to pursue your dream of becoming a public servant? Well, Paul, the best advice I can give you is this, work hard at whatever you are doing and do it well."

I suppose it's only fitting that the idealistic high school student who wrote to Senator Humphrey for guidance as a young man would be named these many years later to the endowed professorship named for Senator Jackson, also a great public servant and ironically, Senator Humphrey's opponent for the democratic presidential nominations.

[laughter]

Anna: Paul's many accomplishments are well chronicled in your programs today. My job is not to recount his long and illustrious career so far, but rather to help fill in the spaces between the notes, as Paul is fond of saying about his passion for jazz. The notes of his career, if you will, began long before his arrival at our law school. He spent time as a litigator. Some might say he was trying those exciting and glamorous cases in LA just like on TV, but we won't go there.

He was a member of the Clinton administration, he was the longest serving Commissioner on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He is no less than a leading voice in employment and disability law nationally and internationally. He has shared his expertise all over the world. It is a testament that he was so readily able to apply his skills to academic law where his scholarship continues to have important influences on public policy today.

Now, one of his mentors, the esteemed Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Institution and former Provost of the University of Pennsylvania and one of your former college professors, reflected in a note to me recently that, for him, Paul represents intellectual capacity, enthusiasm and sophisticated judgment. And if you've ever met Mr. Gregorian, this is high praise.

For me, Paul is also a human catalyst. Paul is the rare combination of intellectual firepower along with the energy and insights to make the other people he works with better. He's a yenta, in the best sense. A matchmaker on steroids...

[laughter]

Anna: Now, hopefully that won't get you subpoenaed.

[laughter]

Anna: He has a unique ability to bring people together and to stimulate ideas and collaborations that are beyond individual expertise. Invitations to casual potlucks hosted at home by Paul and his equally talented wife, Jenny, are memorable, enjoyable and invariably productive. And Paul, maybe you can get the UW to pay for them. You never know who will be there, but they always include an interesting and provocative mix of students, professors, judges, politicos, local, national, international experts on diverse subjects. That's what I mean by being a human catalyst, and isn't that the ideal of a university bringing together people and ideas in ways that lead to new knowledge and new collaboration.

Of course, anyone who knows Paul understands that the introvert intellectual and the extrovert matchmaker are not new manifestations of his personality. You have to remember that I attended college with him at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1970s. I didn't know Paul personally then. It was a big class, but we had a lot of friends in common. Believe me, he was well known on campus.

Some might focus on the fact that he was a university trustee, but he was better known for his performances with a crazy group of comedic men at Penn, the famous and infamous 'Mask and Wig Club'. Paul has always been more substance than flash.

The theater was important to his early training as an advocate and a teacher. The wig that he keeps in his office shelf has seen some action at the law school. Some of you may remember his karaoke performance a few years back. Law students voted on the professors they would most like to sing karaoke, and Paul won.

Student affection and appreciation for Paul's teaching and mentorship, of course, has also been demonstrated in more traditional ways with consistently high teaching ratings of student evaluations.

As a scholar, Paul has been at the forefront of legal thinking in a number of areas. While the human genome was being mapped he immersed himself in the science and thought hard about its potential applications in the workplace. His scholarship and his policy work on genetic discrimination foreshadowed and influenced how this cutting edge area of science would challenge our understanding and interpretation of the law. His persuasive scholarship has illuminated the unique civil rights issues faced by little people and other people with disabilities.

Today he continues to be an intellectual leader, most recently focusing his attention on disability as an international human rights issue. We will no doubt here more from him as he fights more good fights.

Now, I have admired Paul from afar and up close for nearly three decades now. As a colleague I have mostly agreed with his perspectives and analysis, but there's one statement that he wrote in a book chapter that I cannot agree with completely. Paul wrote and I'm quoting here that, "His entire identity was connected with being a dwarf". I cannot accept that. I am reminded that Sir Isaac Newton correctly observed in a letter to Robert Hooke in 1676 that, "If I've seen a little further it's by standing on the shoulders of giants". Paul Miller may have been born a dwarf, but in reality he is a giant. We are all better for seeing a little further from the perch of his shoulders.

Thank you.

[applause]

Dean Hicks: Professor Mastroianni, I want to thank you for those wonderful remarks. [You can come right here.] I will now ask Professor Miller to come yet closer so that we can have the official installation and the presentation of the medallion that is an emblem of the professorship. The medallion has on it very simply and very completely, Henry M. Jackson Professor. It is my great honor to bestow this medallion and to officially recognize the professorship that underlies the medallion on Professor Miller, my friend and colleague. Paul, this is great. The podium is yours.

[applause]

Paul Miller: This is really quite delightful and overwhelming and a real, real honor for me to be here with you today. I want to thank the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and Laura [Higgleton] and the friends of Senator Jackson, who, through their generosity have made this professorship possible and I'm just so proud to be affiliated with you.

And I want to thank my dear friend and colleague, Anna, who, for her introduction I would not be here in Seattle. If not for Anna, who is really one of the main reasons for my interest in the University of Washington. I also want to thank Dean Knight, who not only had the audacity to hire this non-traditional lawyer from Washington DC to be a law professor, but he thought of me for this honor. I want to thank all of my colleagues here at the law school, both the faculty and the staff who have welcomed me so warmly and from whom I learned so much about teaching, about scholarship and about community.

I especially want to acknowledge Dean Hicks, who not only has become an important mentor to me, but also a good friend. And I guess lastly, I want to single out two other people without whom nothing in my life here would work and that's Kim [Micheles] and Claire O'Brien, my assistants. It's really a privilege to work with both of you.

I want to say a special word about my students, they have just been so smart and challenging and hardworking and committed. I could not imagine better students anywhere and I learn more from them than they learn from me and it just doesn't seem fair. A special word to Sidney [Lindsley], who is a really talented PhD history student who spent her summer going through the papers of Senator Henry M. Jackson and helping me with this idea that I had.

Of all the titles that I've had in my career, there is really no better one than I can imagine than "professor" and that is because I have had some marvelous teachers and mentors in my life. And I'm thinking about them now because this event would not be possible without them. Ralph [Casadente] was my seventh grade Social Studies teacher, but he taught me to have confidence in myself. Vartan Gregorian, who I was just so impressed to hear from. Vartan was really the first great intellectual that I've ever met and he began to teach me how to think. And Martin Minnow taught me that it was possible to affect people and change the world with a life in the law.

But most of all, I want to thank my family. My parents, who would have really enjoyed this event so much. My children, Naomi and Delia, who make me a better teacher because they make me a better person. And my wife and partner in all of it, Jenny, who has been incredibly supportive of me and my career from the very day I met her. I wouldn't be here without her support, her behind-the-scenes input and editing on everything I do and her love.

Senator Jackson's career was shaped by the politics of civil rights. How could it not be? He served in Congress from 1941 to his death in 1983. In 1960, he served as the Chair of the Democratic National Committee. At the height of the civil rights era he was a powerful senior member of the United States Senate and the Democratic Party, and yet Senator Jackson does not have much of an identity on civil rights; on national security and international relations, yes; on the environment, yes; on human rights, yes; on Boeing, yes; but on civil rights, not so much.

And the task that I set out for myself was not to create a civil rights biography for the senator even though I went looking for one. Rather, upon receiving the honor of being named the Henry M. Jackson Professor of Law I wanted to come to know the man and his legacy from the perspective of my work and my interests seeing as how he and I are linked.

How did Senator Jackson think about questions of equality and civil rights? What were his views on people with disabilities and their place as equal and integrated members of our American family? What role should litigation and law play in illuminating historic segregation and discrimination of disenfranchised groups in society?

I wanted to know how this person with his strong belief and confidence in the values of freedom and liberty, his talent for politics and legislation and his enormous record of public service, how he understood the struggle for equality in America. I came to conclude based upon my research that the senator was not disengaged from questions of civil rights; rather, Senator Jackson approached such questions through a very particular and unique lens as he often did, and his insights were extraordinarily substantive and politically valuable as they often were.

For Senator Jackson, the Cold War brought together domestic and foreign politics in a sharply defined manner, and it was through the prism of the Cold War that I believe he framed the American civil rights debate taking place around him. Senator Jackson's approach to civil rights issues was fundamentally shaped by his broader, anti-communist agenda.

Henry M. Jackson was elected in 1940 on the eve of America's entry into World War II. The war transformed racial consciousness in the United States and throughout the world. America's claim to be fighting Fascism in the name of freedom and equality made the existence of racial injustice at home a troubling and problematic reality in terms of projecting its image abroad as a bastion of democracy.

The idea of World War II as a war for freedom and democracy conflicted with the reality of institutionalized and cultural American racist practices. Senator Jackson turned his attention to this contradiction of values following the war. He took an active role in the debates surrounding the 1957 Civil Rights Act, the first civil rights legislation passed by Congress since the era of reconstruction. Senator Jackson saw the passage of this civil rights legislation as essential to achieving one of his primary political goals: American supremacy in the Cold War struggle for global influence.

To Jackson, social justice could only triumph in a democracy not withstanding the racial injustice that existed in the United States. Beneath it all, he believed the ethos of egalitarianism represented the true spirit of America. Jackson was invested in proving that the racial inequalities still existing in American life were mere anachronisms quickly being eradicated by a government dedicated to principles of universal freedom.

In this way, according to the historian, Mary Dusiak, the story of race in America used to compare democracy and communism became an important Cold War narrative. And Senator Jackson was one of the many authors of this narrative.

Speaking in 1957 to the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith, he argued: "Soviet denials of civil rights and religious freedom, if widely understood, would shatter the Soviet image of uncommitted nations. The peoples of Asia and Africa will turn toward the West, only if we respect the dignity and equality of all peoples within our own country, regardless of ethnic origin, class or color. Living up to the high ethical standards is more important to our foreign policy than all the dollars we spend abroad."

Jackson's files contain notes for this speech, prepared for him by an aide. And in these notes, the aide who is unidentified by the notes suggest that he "add his regular Russian speech topics" including "the failure of the West to capitalize on Soviet denials of civil rights and religious freedom" and "the importance for foreign policy of US moral posture on issues of freedom and equality." Passage of civil rights legislation would help prove to the world, as Jackson put it, that America's greatest export is freedom.

Throughout his career, Senator Jackson saw the expansion of civil rights at home and the exposure of soviet civil rights violations, including the mistreatment of Soviet Jews, as two parts of a singular program geared towards proving the moral superiority of American democracy. Jackson's biographer, Robert G. Kaufman, writes that in the 70's, Jackson radiated his sober but robust faith in the virtues of the American system and the essential decency of the American people.

Instead of treating the Soviet Union and the United States as morally equivalent empires or the United States as the morally inferior of the two, Jackson strove to infuse American foreign policy with greater moral clarity and confidence about US virtues and our adversary's vices. Jackson's commitment to and confidence about US moral virtue was a piece of his anti-Communist agenda and part of his vision for strengthening America's role in the global arena.

But Jackson also understood the struggle of civil rights as more than part of a geopolitical battle between two superpowers. He understood the psychological impact of discrimination. In April 1968, responding to the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose holiday we just celebrated this week, Senator Jackson gave a speech in which he talked about the legacy and injustice of inequality.

He pointed out that black Americans, particularly those "living in the ghetto" are everyday "denied the dignity of a human, that simple courtesy and respect that every human being owes another." Jackson continued: "A man's most precious possession is his dignity, his pride. Without it, he was less than a man. Prejudice and discrimination destroy that most precious possession."

Jackson noted that "though changes in American life have been dramatic, they also fall terribly short of what must be accomplished." The hardest tasks, he argued, are still ahead. It was easier to eliminate the legal foundations for discrimination than it will be to surmount ignorance. It was easier to make it possible for man to vote than it will be to make it possible for him to earn a better living. To sum it up plainly, I think Senator Jackson's civil rights legacy is, quite simply, that values matter.

I think you might argue that values matter even more than legislation. And, it was this simple principle which for me frames my current thinking about disability civil rights and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA was a great civil rights victory for people with disabilities and ultimately for society as a whole. The law seeks to integrate disabled people into mainstream society, especially within the economic and social fabric of our nation.

Despite the ADA's broad bipartisan support within Congress, ADA jurisprudence has been disheartening to those who envision sweeping civil rights enforcement akin to that led by the judiciary following the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And, I've been struggling to understand why.

Why have the courts who were so central to the implementation of the race and gender civil rights laws a generation earlier, why have they been so narrow in its interpretation of the ADA? Courts embrace the moral underpinnings of the Civil Rights Act, but they have failed to do the same with the ADA, and this is all despite the fact that the ADA has a more extensive legislative history than any other civil rights law.

Democrats and Republicans worked together to define its scope and purpose in great detail. Unlike the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADA did not face serious opposition or the threat of filibuster. Congress passed the bill by an overwhelming majority, and yet the courts have consistently chosen to ignore such intent, context and history when trying to interpret the ADA's remedial purpose.

I think that the answer to this dilemma lies in part in understanding the broader historical context that led to the passage of the ADA. Historically, the judiciary played an active role in the expansion of civil rights for people with color and women through the implementation of the Title VII and other civil rights laws. Judges took note of the civil rights movements that motivated Congress to act as they interpreted these remedial statutes. They recognized and understood the social forces that demanded change.

In contrast, there was no visible and broad social mandate for change with respect to people with disabilities. Judges were not similarly educated about the experience of disability by a popular broad movement that identified its barriers and articulated their source of segregation. When challenged to implement the ADA, judges were more willing to evaluate the ADA's cases in a morally neutral manner rather than using the ADA's authority to remedy historical conditions of disability, inequity, segregation and prejudice.

It is more a question of balancing costs than righting institutional wrongs, and the implementation of the first 15 years of Title VII and the ADA are vastly different because the history of the two movements are so different even though the principles of each of these civil rights statutes are the same. The ADA and Title VII grew out of different cultural and historical experiences. Title VII was passed on the heels of the very public, national debate about race. A social revolution enfolded in living rooms, on TVs and in newspapers, ultimately convincing the nation that segregation was morally wrong and separate was not equal.

Television images of the Civil Rights Movement helped to educate white society about the experience of being black in America. That social revolution changed mainstream American thinking and resulted in sweeping civil rights legislation of the mid 1960's.

Judges defined the congressional mandate by broadly interpreting the meaning and reach of such laws and strongly enforcing them. The courts prodded employers and public accommodations in state and local governments and, in fact, the entire nation towards policies of non discrimination and equal access.

The history of the Disability Civil Rights Movement is very different. There is no publicly visible revolution that changed the hearts and minds of able-bodied America. From the perspective of most people, including judges, the ADA appeared out of nowhere when it was signed in 1990. There is no social movement reflected on television or newspaper that swept the nation to demand a response to the condition of people with disabilities in America.

The disability community concerns were largely un-noticed by the general public. Thus, with little public discussion or understanding about the issues that confront disabled people daily, employers and businesses came under the regulation of a comprehensive and revolutionary new law and judges were given the responsibility for implementing congresses response to an unfamiliar form of discrimination.

Sadly, there is still not even a common word in the English language that can be used to shame someone who discriminates against a disabled person such as the labels racist and sexist do. In addition, understanding disability discrimination and segregation is difficult and complicated because many stereotypes about this disability are still widely accepted.

People tend not to have animists towards people with disabilities, rather they pity them. The stereotype about people with disabilities is that they are unable, feeble, dependent, worthy of our charity. Disabled people are viewed as helpless and incapable victims of circumstance. Expectations about people with disabilities are reinforced by cultural images such as the Jerry Lewis Telethon and poster children.

The other image the public has of disabled people is that of the "super-crip". The heroic person who in his or her ability to overcome severe physical or mental limitations does extraordinary feats like climbing Mount Everest in a wheelchair. Both constructs create a barrier to truly understanding the everyday experience of disabled people.

As these perceptions of disabled people have not been challenged or examined, many judges have them in mind when evaluating ADA discrimination cases. This may influences a judge's assessments as to whether a disabled person will succeed in a particular job, yet notwithstanding the problems of implementation.

As a result of the ADA, disabled people are coming to expect their seat at the table when it comes to rights and jobs and access, public transportation and government services.

The ADA has not only powered a new generation of disabled people in the United States, but it has provided another shining example of American social justice and equality to others around the world. Senator Jackson's faith and confidence in America's greatest export of freedom is reflected in the ADA and the development of a disability human rights movement.

Last year the United Nations adopted a convention on the rights of people with disabilities. A ground-breaking agreement recognizing disability issues as human rights issues and providing important protections to the 650 million people with disabilities worldwide.

Quite frankly, many in the established human rights community ignore human rights violations against disabled people and failed to focus on such abuses as forced institutionalization and inhumane restraints of people with mental illness; segregation from the general education systems, exclusion from voting, denial of the right to bare or rear children and the denial of healthcare because of longstanding and widespread assumptions that among other things conflate disability with inability.

A disproportionate number of people around the world who are living in abject poverty are people with disabilities. They are vastly under-served community when it comes to healthcare.

The convention exposes such abuses and addresses them from a framework of capability, personal anatomy and inclusion and moreover the convention draws attention to the fact that disabled people are the holders of human rights, not nearly the recipients of welfare or charity.

I am exstrongd that the University of Washington Disabilities Study Program and the law school in partnership with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation will be sponsoring a two day international symposium entitled "Framing Legal Human Rights: Legal and Human Rights Strategies For Change - A case study of disability rights in Asia" this April.

The conference will be the first international academics symposium exploring this new field of disability human rights and will include speakers from at least seven countries in addition to the United States. The symposium will examine the intersection between disability human rights and civil rights, regarding the issues of citizenship and integration, economic development, poverty, global health and the challenges presented within post-conflict societies.

I'm particularly thrilled to be working with the students and that both the Washington Law Review and the Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal will each be dedicating a journal issue on the subject of disability human rights.

In addition to the Jackson Foundation's generous support of this conference, I am just really exstrongd that the Henry M. Jackson Professorship will allow me to participate in research and work on the convention's implementation and allow me to partner with other human rights and disability experts and scholars at the University of Washington and elsewhere in an interdisciplinary fashion on the issue of disability human rights.

Senator Jackson's approach to questions of civil rights evidence his faith that the freedom is guaranteed under American law was gradually - but inevitably being expanded to include an ever-broader proportion of the American populous.

A proponent of the Cold War morality tale of civil rights, Jackson trusted the basic institutions of the American democracy to advance social justice. This way, Senator Jackson and I are very much the same. We believe in government and we believe that laws rooted in democratic principles of justice, equality, access and dignity benefit the individual, the economy and our society.

Thank you very much for this marvelous honor.

[audience applause]

Last updated 3/19/2008