Rauh, Joseph L., Jr.

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RAUH, JOSEPH L., JR. (1911–1992), U.S. lawyer. Rauh, who was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, graduated from Harvard Law School. He was law secretary to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin *Cardozo and counsel to various government agencies, including the Wage and Hour Administration and the Federal Communications Commission (1935–42). Rauh served in the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer in the Pacific during World War ii and was discharged with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was a founder of the Americans for Democratic Action in 1947, which presented a liberal, non-Communist alternative to the then-conservative domination of both the Republican and Democratic parties. He was chairman of the ada executive committee (1947–52), vice chairman (1952–55 and 1957), and national chairman (1955–57). Rauh was a delegate to all Democratic National Conventions from 1948, when he fought for the inclusion of the first strong civil rights plank in that party's platform, through 1964, when he strongly advocated seating the blacks representing the Mississippi Freedom party as the official Democratic delegation from that state. He served for many years on the board of the naacp and as general counsel to the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. Rauh was the Washington counsel (1951–63 and again from 1966) and general counsel (1963–66) for the United Automobile Workers. He also served as attorney for the insurgent United Mineworkers Union group led by Joseph Yablonski, who opposed incumbent Tony Boyle for the union's presidency in 1969.

Rauh was instrumental in the founding of the District of Columbia's public law school. In 1999, the Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Chair of Public Interest Law was established at the University of the District of Columbia's David A. Clarke School of Law.

Regarded as one of the foremost civil rights and civil liberties lawyers of his time, Rauh was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, posthumously, by President Bill Clinton in 1993.