Thomas Geoghegan

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Thomas Geoghegan
Born Tom Geoghegan
(1949-01-22) January 22, 1949 (age 69)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Occupation Attorney, Author
Residence Chicago
Nationality American
Alma mater Harvard University, Harvard Law School
Genre Social sciences

Thomas Geoghegan (/ˈɡɡən/;[1] born January 22, 1949 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an American labor lawyer and author based in Chicago.

He has represented several unions and union groups, and written six books on labor unions, law, politics and his personal experiences. He has written for The New Republic magazine and contributed to several newspapers, and had commentaries on a number of radio and TV stations. Geoghegan ran in the Democratic primary for the Illinois's 5th congressional district in 2009[2] and came in 6th.

Life and work[edit]

In 1967, Geoghegan graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.[3] He later graduated from Harvard University and Harvard Law School. Geoghegan has represented the United Mine Workers, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, and currently works at Despres, Schwartz and Geoghegan Ltd.. He has been a staff writer and contributing writer to The New Republic and his work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Dissent, The American Prospect, The Nation, and Harper's Magazine. His commentary has been featured on National Public Radio, Nightline, The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, CNBC, and PBS's WTTW-11.

Geoghegan was a Democratic candidate for Rahm Emanuel's seat in Illinois's 5th congressional district special election, 2009.[2] The primary for the special election took place on March 3, 2009, and was won by Mike Quigley. The general election was won by Quigley on April 7, 2009.[4]


In his books, articles and commentaries, Geoghegan has urged a number of reforms to increase America's commitment to democracy at home and abroad. Geoghegan supports the National Popular Vote compact for presidential elections[5] on the grounds that it would increase electoral responsiveness, transparency and accountability.[6] He urges a reform of the redistricting of US congressional districts, arguing that currently over than 90% of Congressional seats are "safe", such that no challenger has a serious chance of unseating an incumbent and this discourages voter participation. He argues against the filibuster in the US Senate as undemocratic and unconstitutional under current rules. Fewer than 9% of the population resides in 20 states representing 40% of the seats in the Senate.[7] In regards to America's economy and quality of life, Geoghegan argues that Germany and other northern European countries "do both capitalism and socialism better than we do."[8][9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kathy G. Mr. Geoghegan Goes to Washington Archived 2009-01-16 at the Wayback Machine. The G Spot, January 6, 2009
  2. ^ a b Tom Geoghegan for Congress - Official Campaign Website
  3. ^ Motz, Mark D. (2009-01-29). "Volume VI, Issue 8". St. Xavier High School E-News (Mailing list). Retrieved 2009-01-29. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ AP, Ill. GOP: Special vote chance to replace senator[permanent dead link] Chicago Tribune, January 5, 2009
  5. ^ something the states of Maine and Nebraska have signed to.
  6. ^ See You in Court
  7. ^ In the January 11, 2010 New York Times op-ed article, Geoghegan argues that since the vice-president's job is to vote in the Senate when the Senate is equally divided and since a filibuster under revised Senate Rule 22 removes the vice-president's ability to make that vote, it is an unconstitutional rule. He also argues that the Article requirement for just a bare majority to form a quorum supermajorities were expressly disapproved by the Founders. He says In Federalist 75, Hamilton dismissed a supermajority rule for a quorum thus: "All provisions which require more than a majority of any body to its resolutions have a direct tendency to embarrass the operation of government and an indirect one to subject the sense of the majority to that of the minority." Geoghegan continues, It would be illogical to preclude a supermajority {for a...} quorum while allowing it on an ad hoc basis any time a minority wanted to block a vote.
  8. ^ Were you Born on the Wrong Continent? Thomas Geoghegan, 2010.
  9. ^ Terrence McNally (October 14, 2010). "Why Germany Has It So Good -- and Why America Is Going Down the Drain". AlterNet. Archived from the original on October 17, 2010. Retrieved October 14, 2010. 

External links[edit]