G. Robert Blakey

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G. Robert Blakey
G. Robert Blakey headshot
Born (1936-01-07)January 7, 1936
Burlington, North Carolina
Residence Indiana
Nationality American
Ethnicity Irish
Citizenship United States
Education AB 1957; JD 1960
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
Occupation Law professor
Employer Notre Dame Law School
Known for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Elaine Menard (m. 1958; died 2002)
Notes

George Robert Blakey (born January 7, 1936, in Burlington, North Carolina) is an Irish American[3] attorney and law professor. He is best known for his work in connection with drafting the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and for scholarship on that subject.

Education and family[edit]

Blakey, an Irish Catholic,[3] graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1957, earning a degree in philosophy with honors, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then attended Notre Dame Law School, where he was an associate editor of the Notre Dame Law Review and was awarded a J.D. 1960.[1]

In April 1958, during his first year of law school, Blakey married Elaine Menard, a graduate of St. Mary's College. The couple had 8 children and 18 grandchildren, and remained married until her death in 2002.[2]

RICO and other legislation[edit]

Under the close supervision of Senator John Little McClellan, the Chairman of the Committee for which he worked, Blakey drafted the "RICO Act," Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, signed into law by Richard M. Nixon.[1] While in law school, Blakey edited a student note on the unsuccessful prosecution of attendees at the Apalachin Meeting, which first sparked his interest in organized crime; he also wrote a note that analyzed civil liberties in the union movement.[4] In 1960, after law school, Blakey joined the United States Department of Justice under its Honor Program, and he became a Special Attorney in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Criminal Division of the Department. After Robert F. Kennedy became Attorney General, the Department began a major effort to bring criminal prosecutions against organized crime members, corrupt political figures, and faithless union officials. The Section assigned Blakey to the effort.[5] He remained at Justice until 1964, leaving the summer after the November 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy.[1]

Subsequently, numerous states passed racketeering legislation with Blakey's assistance modeled on the federal statute. In addition, under the close supervision of McClellan, Blakey also drafted Title III on wiretapping of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968. Numerous states, too, have wiretapping legislation modeled on the federal statute, and Blakey aided in those efforts.

Assassinations committee[edit]

Blakey was a Notre Dame law professor from 1964 to 1969, when he returned to Washington as Chief Counsel of Subcommittee on Criminal Laws and Procedures of the Senate Judiciary Committee. John Little McClellan was the Chairman of the Subcommittee.[6] Blakey credits the success of his drafting work to the dedication to needs of law enforcement, the understanding of the drafting and the processing of legislation, and basic sense of fairness of McClellan as well as the extraordinary confidence other members of the Senate placed in McClellan. Only he could have seen to the successful completion of Blakey's handiwork; if Blakey was its draftsman, McClellan was its architect and master builder.

During 1967, he was a Consultant on organized crime to the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice; Lyndon B. Johnson created the Commission to examine crime in America. It recommended, among other measures, new racketeering and wiretapping legislation.

Blakey was Chief Counsel and Staff Director to the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations from 1977 to 1979, which investigated the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. under the direction of Louis Stokes. Blakey also helped Stokes draft the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. He and Richard Billings, the editor of the final report of the Committee, would later write a book about the assassination.

Supreme Court appearances[edit]

In Blakey's first appearance before the United States Supreme Court, he filed a brief on behalf of the Attorneys General of Massachusetts and Oregon and the National District Attorneys Association in the case of Berger v. New York (1967), which dealt with wiretapping. He argued on behalf of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation in what became Holmes v. SIPC (1992); he argued on behalf of pro-life activist Joseph Scheidler in what became Scheidler v. National Organization for Women (2006), and he argued on behalf of the beneficiaries of insurance policies in what became Humana, Inc. v. Forsyth (1999).

Teaching[edit]

Blakey served as a law professor at Notre Dame Law School from 1964 to 1969. From 1973 to 1980, he served as a law professor at Cornell Law School, and was director of the Cornell Institute on Organized Crime. In 1980, Blakey returned to teaching law at Notre Dame, and in 1985 was named the William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Professor of Law there.[1]

Selected publications[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Blakey, G. Robert (2005-07-27). "Curriculum vitae". Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  2. ^ a b "Elaine Menard Blakey". The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, New York). 2002-12-08. p. B8. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Mansnerus, Laura (30 January 1994). "When Is Protest Not Protest? When You Call It Extortion". New York Times. p. E4. 
  4. ^ (Blakey 2006, n. 30)
  5. ^ (Blakey 2006, p. 11)
  6. ^ (Blakey 2006, pp. 14–18)

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]