March 9, 2008

Democrat Bill Foster wins the House seat once held by Dennis Hastert.

Here's the report. But the really interesting question for anyone with a tie to the University of Wisconsin Law School is: Is he any relation to that great old professor Bill Foster? Answer: Yes! He's his son.

Bill Foster, senior — who died in 2002 at the age of 82 — played an important role in school desegregation (PDF):
Foster played a major role in the desegregation of public schools. The Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. However, laws do not enforce themselves, and there was great resistance in many places. As part of a research project, Foster traveled repeatedly to southern states, talking with federal judges, governors, school officials, white segregationists and black action groups. He brought many of these people to off-the-record meetings in Madison. He maintained contacts with all involved, and he recruited other law professors to do field research concerning school desegregation. Their work was published, but, more importantly, Foster continued as an informal consultant to black and white leaders. He also served as an informal channel of communication among federal judges who faced the problem of implementing the Brown decision. In 1965, Congress provided funds for local schools, if the local schools adopted acceptable desegregation plans. However, federal agencies provided no guidelines for what was an acceptable plan. There was no way the agencies could write such guidelines without high political cost. Professor Foster drafted a set of guidelines based on the experiences of those with whom he had been talking for almost a decade. Foster’s guidelines were published in The Saturday Review, and reprints were widely distributed to local school districts. Federal authorities then adopted the Foster guidelines. Within four months after this, more school desegregation was accomplished than the federal courts had been able to enforce over the course of nearly ten years.
Congratulations to young Bill, and thanks for giving us at Wisconsin another chance to remember our wonderful old colleague.

5 comments:

Ed said...

Here in this pretty Republican district, everyone considers Oberweis kind of a nut and a loser. Hastert didn't make any friends by abruptly resigning to become a lobbyist and then endorsing a political hack and moneybag. I think if the Republicans actually had nominated a new face, they would have won easily.

former law student said...

Is he any relation to that great old professor Bill Foster?

I would sooner have wondered if Bill Foster was related to former CPUSA head William Z. Foster. Or Billgate figure Vince Foster. Or Swanee River composer Stephen Foster.

MadisonMan said...

ed, Yes, blame the messenger, not the message. I note that Mr. Obama campaigned a lot for Foster.

I like the Oberweis dairy store on Hwy 12 -- though it's a bit pricey -- but Oberweis milk very inferior to Blue Marble Milk that you can buy here in Dane County. Blue Marble Cream is the very very very best dairy product ever.

Ed said...

Hey, Madison Man, I was rooting for Foster. That said, I was because I was rooting against gerrymandering and corruption. I don't think you are going to find many people in Kane County that are fired up by anti-war or anti-Bush fever. In fact, Oberweis was the one talking most about Iraq in that race.

Foster will be gone in one term if he thinks he has a mandate for hard left change in this district.

I like Oberweis Dairy, they home deliver nice hormone free milk in glass bottles. Best ice cream is at Babcock though!

Ed said...

Hey, madisonman, I was rooting for Foster. That said, I was because I was rooting against gerrymandering and corruption. I don't think you are going to find many people in Kane County that are fired up by anti-war or anti-Bush fever. In fact, Oberweis was the one talking most about Iraq in that race.

Foster will be gone in one term if he thinks he has a mandate for hard left change in this district.

I like Oberweis Dairy, they home deliver nice hormone free milk in glass bottles. Best ice cream is at Babcock though!