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Remembering former Sen. Birch Bayh, champion of Title IX

Former Sen. Birch Bayh, who served three terms as an Indiana Democrat, died Thursday at his home in Maryland. Bayh was the primary architect of Title IX, which bars sex discrimination in colleges, and the 25th Amendment, which empowers presidents to fill vice presidential vacancies and outlines a procedure for declaring sitting presidents unfit. John Yang remembers the influential legislator.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    And former three-term Senator Birch Bayh died today at his home in Maryland. The Indiana Democrat ran for president, and he led drives for a lower voting age and gender equality.

    John Yang has our report.

  • Sen. Birch Bayah, D-Ind.:

    We're running a good strong third.

  • John Yang:

    Birch Bayh's attempts to become president were both unsuccessful, but the consequences of the liberal Democrat's work are still felt throughout American life.

    The scope of women's college athletics is largely due to Title IX, the landmark federal legislation that Bayh championed. It bars sex discrimination in colleges and is used to combat sexual assault on campus.

    Eighteen-year-olds are guaranteed the right to vote in federal and state elections, thanks to the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, which Bayh helped draft in the midst of the Vietnam War. And he was the main architect of the 25th Amendment, giving presidents the ability to fill vice presidential vacancies.

    Its procedure for declaring sitting presidents unfit has been in the news, after disclosures that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed it in connection with President Trump. Bayh was first elected to the Senate in 1962. He was on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  • Sen. Birch Bayah:

    Let's have a truly independent prosecutor, not a special prosecutor.

  • John Yang:

    And was a leading voice during Watergate. He was defeated for reelection by Dan Quayle in the 1980 Republican wave. His son Evan later held the same Senate seat.

    Birch Bayh was 91.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm John Yang.

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