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Bar News - December 14, 2012

In Memoriam: Warren B. Rudman

Warren B. Rudman
Former US Senator Warren B. Rudman died Nov. 19, 2012. He was 82.

Rudman was born May 18, 1930, in Boston, the eldest of the three children of Edward and Theresa Rudman. After graduating from Syracuse University in 1952, Rudman saw combat in Korea as an infantryman in the US Army from 1952 to 1954. He earned a law degree from Boston College in 1960.

From 1970 to 1976, Rudman was New Hampshireís attorney general. During this time, he established consumer protection and environmental divisions. He was succeeded by his deputy, David Souter, and later helped persuade President George H.W. Bush to nominate Souter to the US Supreme Court.

Rudman went to the US Senate to represent New Hampshire as a Republican in 1981 after winning an 11-candidate primary. He was perhaps most well-known as a co-sponsor of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings budget-cutting law. Approved in 1985, the law was designed to end federal deficits by 1991 and required automatic spending cuts if annual deficit targets were missed. He left the Senate in 1993, frustrated that the law never reached its potential.

Rudman also was a recognized champion for supporting federal legal aid funding, and resisted efforts by the Reagan Administration to cripple the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), through which many local civil legal services programs were funded.

In comments to the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, UNH Law School Dean John Broderick, who served for a number of years on the LSC board, said: "Senator Rudman will be long remembered and admired for his inspired leadership on issues of fiscal responsibility, ethics and national security. But I will remember him most fondly for his courage and integrity in standing up for the poor and disadvantaged who were in desperate need of access to justice at a time when the President of his own party wanted to eliminate all federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation. He had no equal and no fear. "

Sen. Warren Rudman converses with Justice David Souter at the dedication of the Concord federal courthouse in 1997. In one of his rare public addresses, Souter joked: "The architects had no idea the building would be in Senator Rudmanís name or they wouldnít have built such a small building."
Rudmanís longtime friend and former colleague at the NH Attorney Generalís office, Tom Rath, said: "Warren lived a full and compelling life. He believed that if you had the chance to do important things, you should do just that. The provision of legal services to those in need regardless of means was important to him and he fought hard in a difficult environment to affect that right. He was proud of his work in this area. The LSC never had a better advocate or truer friend."

After leaving the Senate, Rudman played an influential role nationally as a trouble-shooter and straight-talker. President Clinton appointed him vice chair of the influential Presidentís Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He also led or was a member of investigative teams or commissions that looked into an $11 billion accounting scandal at Fannie Mae, the mortgage company; allegations that major dealers on the NASDAQ Stock Market colluded to fix prices; violence between Israel and Palestinians; and ailments affecting veterans of the first Gulf War.

In 2001, Rudman co-authored a report on national security with former US Senator Gary Hart that predicted a major terrorist attack on American soil within 25 years. The report was not taken seriously until after the September 11 attacks. One suggestion from the report, to form a Homeland Security Department, was later adopted.

In 1997, the federal courthouse in Concord was dedicated to Senator Rudman. At the time, he said that he cherished the role he played as a senator in naming top-quality people to the federal bench.

Rudman leaves behind his wife Shirley and their three children.

In honor of our colleague Sen. Rudman, the NH Bar Association Board of Governors has donated to the NH Bar Foundation, 2 Pillsbury Street, Suite 300, Concord, NH 03301.

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