James L. Buckley (1923-2023)

With great sadness, I relay that James L. Buckley passed away at the age of 100. I wrote about Judge Buckley in March on his 100th birthday:

On Thursday, James L. Buckley turns 100 years old. Most law students will know his name from the seminal case of Buckley v. Valeo. But he did so much more. He served as a lieutenant in the Navy. He was elected as New York Senator on the conservative party ticket. President Reagan appointed Buckley as undersecretary of state for international security. And Reagan latter tapped Buckley as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. He is one of the most remarkable public servants of the 20th century. (I would add Judge Silberman to that list.)

I had the honor of meeting Judge Buckley at Justice Thomas’s Story Lecture in 2021.I don’t get star-stuck easily, but I got star-struck when I shook Judge Buckley’s hand. I mentioned that I always teach his case in First Amendment, and he made a comment about the partisans that tried to shut him down.

He was a giant, and his contributions to our nation are immeasurable. Rest in peace, Judge Buckley.

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