Walter Mondale at podium
Walter Mondale, Senate Leader's Lecture Series, September 4, 2002; credit: U.S. Senate Historical Office

The University of Minnesota Law Library is pleased to provide access to an extensive body of information on the senatorial career of Walter F. Mondale, United States Senator from Minnesota, 1964-1976. Senator Mondale's instrumental work in shaping crucial legislation is documented in full text access to selected proceedings and debates on the floor of the Senate as recorded in the Congressional Record.

This website is divided into thirteen major sections, each beginning with an overview of Senator Mondale's work in a particular area. Senator Mondale's eloquence and steadfast loyalty to fairness, justice, and openness in government are showcased in excerpts from his speeches and writings, followed by full text access to his work on the floor of the Senate. Each section concludes with a listing of hearings in which Senator Mondale took part and the prints and reports for the committees on which Mondale served.

This website is not an exhaustive survey of all of Senator Mondale's legislative work. It does, however, cover his key legislative battles, including those for fair housing, civil rights, children and education, the alleviation of poverty, and increased oversight of the FBI and the CIA. His commitment to the "take care" clause of the Constitution is demonstrated over and over again. The "take care" clause is a simple sentence, directing the president to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." As Mondale explains in his book The Good Fight, it is a phrase that has been a touchstone throughout his career:

In times that test our constitutional principles, the "take care" clause steers us back to the founders' wisdom and reminds us that ours is, after all a government of laws, not men. In times that fray our conscience and compassion, it reminds us of the obligation to sustain and nurture the magnificent experiment they left us.

Our founders understood that a decent society, a society that can endure and prosper, needs leaders who transcend the politics of the moment and pursue the nation's long-term aspirations. These leaders will take care of the Constitution, understanding that they are only custodians of an ideal—stewards with a debt to their forbearers and a duty to their heirs. They will take care of their fellow citizens—especially the poor and disenfranchised—understanding that a society is stronger when everyone contributes. They will take care of our children, understanding that a wise society invests in the things that help its next generation succeed. They will take care of politics itself, governing with honor and generosity rather than ideology and fear, understanding that a nation decays when its people lose confidence in their own leaders.

For questions or comments please contact the Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center.

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2014 Joseph L. Andrews
Legal Literature Award
American Association of Law Libraries