Starr, Kenneth Winston,
1946–, American public official, b. Vernon, Tex., grad. George Washington Univ. (B.A., 1968), Brown (M.A., 1969), Duke (J.D., 1973). After clerking for Chief Justice Warren Burger and working in the Justice Dept., he served on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Later he was solicitor general (1989–93) in the G. H. W. Bush administration, then practiced law privately. In Aug., 1994, he was named Whitewater
prosecutor, replacing Robert Fiske. Starr's office gradually expanded the scope of its investigations of President Clinton
and his administration, but without striking success until Jan., 1998, when his inquiry was expanded to include the president's role in what became the Lewinsky scandal
. Clinton's defenders criticized the conservative Starr as ideologically motivated, and his report to the House of Representatives, setting out a case for impeachment
, was attacked as prejudicially detailed. After the impeachment and acquittal of the president, Starr seemed to agree that the law establishing the independent counsel
should not be renewed, although he strongly defended his actions. The law lapsed in June, 1999, and he resigned the Whitewater post in October. Dean of Pepperdine Univ.'s law school from 2004, Starr was named president of Baylor Univ. and a member of its law school faculty in 2010 and university chancellor in 2014, but he was removed as president and then resigned as chancellor and professor in 2016 after an investigation determined the university had not properly investigated sexual assault accusations against football players. In 2020, he served as a member of President Trump's impeachment defense team. Starr has written First among Equals
(2002), a conservative examination of the late-20th-century Supreme Court.
See his memoir of the Clinton investigation (2018); K. Gormley, The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr (2010).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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