Jim Flug

  • Fall 2006

Jim Flug who for the past three years served as Senator Edward Kennedy's Chief Counsel, was first exposed to politics as News Director of Harvard's radio station almost 50 years ago. Flug oversaw WHRB's 1958 Congressional election coverage, interviewed Senator John F. Kennedy during the West Virginia Presidential primary in 1960, and did so again in 1961 when the President-elect attended a Harvard Overseers meeting. After Harvard Law School, Flug went to Washington for one year in 1963, and has been there ever since. Flug clerked for a Federal Appeals Judge, and then served at the Justice Department as Assistant to the head of the Tax Division and Assistant to the Attorney General. From 1967 to 1973, as Legislative Assistant and then Chief Counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy, Flug helped Kennedy beat back a Congressional attack on the Supreme Court's "one-man, one-vote" decision, pass the 1968 gun control law, defeat two of President Richard Nixon's Supreme Court nominations, and conduct the first formal investigation of the Watergate scandal. In his off-hours, he supervised the Youth and Student activities of the 1968 Robert Kennedy Presidential campaign.

As Director of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, Flug was active in the adoption and implementation of the 1974 Legal Services Corporation Act, funding legal aid to the poor. Next Flug headed "Energy Action," challenging oil companies and the Carter administration on energy issues during the 1970's oil crisis. In 1979-80, Flug was special counsel, Maryland director, and convention press secretary for Ted Kennedy's Presidential Campaign. From 1980 to 2003, Flug practiced "private public interest law," assisting many state governments in obtaining large oil overcharge refunds for use in their energy programs and, as Washington Counsel for the Generic Drug industry, helping enact the historic "Hatch-Waxman" compromise accelerating approvals of generic drugs. In 2003, Flug returned to the Senate as Senator Kennedy's Chief Counsel, working on legal and constitutional issues, including the Roberts and Alito Supreme Court nominations.