Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin Who Opposed Iraq War Dies at 87 | US Senate

Carl Levin, a Democrat who was the longest-serving United States Senator in Michigan and who strongly opposed the rush to war in Iraq, h...


Carl Levin, a Democrat who was the longest-serving United States Senator in Michigan and who strongly opposed the rush to war in Iraq, has passed away. He was 87 years old.

Levin has had a slightly crumpled, down-to-earth demeanor throughout a 36-year career in which he was a staunch supporter of his hometown auto industry. The Harvard-trained lawyer was also a respected leader of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The former taxi driver and auto line worker, who for decades kept a faded 1953 union card in his wallet, died Thursday. His family and Wayne State University Law School’s Levin Center have disclosed no cause of death. He was living with lung cancer.

“We are all devastated by his loss. But we are filled with gratitude for all the support Carl has received throughout his extraordinary life and career, enabling him to reach so many people and accomplish so much good, ”the statement said.

Elected to the Senate in 1978, Levin targeted tax shelters, supported manufacturing jobs, and lobbied for military funding.

“He’s just a very decent person,” Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island said in 2008. “He’s unassuming, unassuming. He never forgets that what we do is linked to people’s lives. that he represents.

Levin worked effectively with Republicans. But he was in the minority when he voted against sending troops to Iraq in 2002, and two years later said that the George W Bush administration had “written the book on how to mismanage a war. “.

He gave cautious approval to reinforce Barack Obama’s troops in 2009 in Afghanistan, but subsequently warned against “fraying” Democratic support.

He criticized Ronald Reagan’s build-up of nuclear weapons, saying it came at the expense of conventional weapons needed to maintain military readiness.

Joe Biden, who served with Levin in the Senate for 30 years, said Friday “he was one of the most honorable and decent people I have ever known.” Levin, he said, was “brilliant, humble and principled,” embodying “the best of who we are as Americans.”

In 2006, Time magazine said, “No one would accuse Carl Levin of looking like the Hollywood version of a US senator. He’s chubby, bald, and creased at times, and he constantly wears his glasses on the tip of his nose. Still, the Michigan Democrat has earned respect from both sides for his attention to detail and his in-depth knowledge of politics, especially in his role as a vigilant monitor of businesses and federal agencies. “

Levin investigated Enron in 2002, which declared bankruptcy amid a financial scandal. The investigation contributed to a federal law that requires executives to sign financial statements so that they can be criminally responsible for fictitious numbers.

Levin pushed for legislation designed to crack down on offshore tax havens, which he says costs the United States at least $ 100 billion a year. He was an advocate for stem cell research and gun control.

Levin supported providing $ 25 billion in loan guarantees to General Motors and Chrysler, arguing that a vibrant domestic auto industry was crucial to rebuilding the economy after the 2008 recession. He was also a member of a task force supporting efforts to combat pollution and other problems affecting the Great Lakes.

“If you’ve ever worn the uniform, worked on an assembly line, or sacrificed to make ends meet, then you had a voice and a vote in Senator Carl Levin,” Obama said in 2013. “Nobody’s got it. worked harder to bring manufacturing jobs back to our shores, close unfair tax loopholes and make sure everyone follows the same rules.

Levin was born in Detroit June 28, 1934. He received a BA in political science from Swarthmore College in 1956 and a law degree from Harvard in 1959. He married Barbara two years later and they raised three daughters.

He was Michigan’s only Jewish senator. But he once said that public service is in his DNA and politics was often discussed at dinner tables when he was little.

His older brother, Sandy Levin, became a member of Congress with a Liberal vote record. Their father was a member of the Michigan Corrections Commission. In 1964, Levin was appointed assistant attorney general and first general counsel of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. Detroit voters elected him to city council in 1969. In 1978, he defeated a Republican to win a Senate race. He won the seat five more times.

Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer called Levin a “Michigan champion.”

Carl Levin looks on during a photo unveiling of the USS Carl M Levin in Detroit in 2016.
Carl Levin looks on during a photo unveiling of the USS Carl M Levin in Detroit in 2016. Photography: Carlos Osorio / AP

“He saw what we were capable of when we came to the table as Michiganders, as Americans, to get things done,” she said. “Carl has dedicated his life to public service, and it’s up to us to follow his example.”

After retirement, the Wayne Law Levin Center was established to promote evidence-based bipartisan oversight and to encourage civil dialogue. He chaired the center and co-taught courses. He was also a partner at Honigman law firm in Detroit. Her memoir, Getting to the Heart of the Matter, was published in March. The Navy appointed a destroyer for him.

His nephew, Andy Levin, was re-elected in 2020 to his father’s congressional seat in suburban Detroit.

“Carl Levin personified integrity and the notion of placing the public good above self-interest,” said Andy Levin, calling it “the very image of sober purpose and righteousness. In truth. He was no fun, in fact he often pierced tense situations with self-deprecating humor, and he privately shared incisive observations about others with staff and colleagues.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin Who Opposed Iraq War Dies at 87 | US Senate
Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin Who Opposed Iraq War Dies at 87 | US Senate
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