Senator Whitehouse to discuss U.S. Supreme Court, climate change in Oct. 10 talk at URI

KINGSTON, R.I. – Oct. 5, 2023 – U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse will come to the University of Rhode Island on Tuesday, Oct. 10, to address students and the community during a discussion on the U.S. Supreme Court and climate protections.

The talk, “The intersection of dark money, climate change, and the corporate capture of the Supreme Court,” will be held at 11 a.m. in Edwards Hall. The free lecture is open to the public and will also be streamed live.

“What’s wrong with our politics, and what’s wrong with our climate policies, and what’s wrong with our court, all converge, and they converge around dark money,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “The good news from all this mess is that we can get rid of dark money and make a new morning in American politics; we have the policy tools to steer the world towards climate safety once politics permits that; and when people better understand what went wrong at the Supreme Court, the aperture for reforms will open.”

Whitehouse, who has represented Rhode Island in the U.S. Senate for 16 years, has played a key role in crafting policies to address climate change, among other environmental issues, and has given nearly 300 speeches on the Senate floor raising the alarm about climate change.

He has also championed changes in the Supreme Court, attacking the role of right-wing donors and “dark money” in taking control of the high court. In speeches in the Senate, he has expounded on the current 6-3 conservative majority on the court and how it is a product of special interests and hundreds of millions of dollars in anonymous hidden spending.

Whitehouse is the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. A former U.S. Attorney and Rhode Island attorney general, he serves on the Finance Committee, Judiciary Committee, and the Environment and Public Works Committee in the Senate. He has been at the center of such bipartisan efforts as passing laws to overhaul federal education policy, rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, protect Americans from toxic chemicals in everyday products, and address ocean plastic waste.

Whitehouse’s lecture, which is hosted by the College of Business, was initially intended to be part of the 2023 Honors Colloquium “Not Business as Usual: Business for the Common Good.” Presented by the Honors Program, the colloquium is marking its 60th anniversary– along with celebrating the College of Business’ centennial.

“Senator Whitehouse is always a welcome speaker at URI. But the topic he will speak on Tuesday is especially timely for URI Honors students, who the University challenges to be agents of change for sustainability and social justice,” said Christy Ashley, associate dean of undergraduate programs in the College of Business. “The college sponsors events that promote dialogue at the intersection of business and public policy as part of our mission to generate value for business and society.”