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James L. Buckley (1923- ) is an American jurist, politician, civil servant, attorney, businessman, and author.
Buckley is the older brother of conservative icon, William F. Buckley and the uncle of writer Christopher Buckley.
In 1968, Buckley broke from the Republican Party and ran as a Conservative Party candidate against liberal Republican Jacob Javits for one of the New York Senate seats. Javits won reelection easily, but Buckley garnered a large amount of votes and good name recognition. In 1970, running again for the Conservative Party, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, serving from 1971 until 1977.
During the first Reagan Administration, Buckley served as Undersecretary of State for International Security Affairs. In 1982 he was appointed President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and served until 1985.
Buckley has been an active pro-life advocate, proposing a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution in 1974. Given his background in this area, he was appointed Ambassador at Large and head of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations International Conference on Population Control held in Mexico City, Mexico in 1984. The United States planned announcing a change in aid to population control and the use of abortion at this Conference.
Buckley was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on October 16, 1985. He was confirmed by the United States Senate and received his commission on December 17, 1985. Buckley assumed senior status on the Court on August 31, 1996 and retired permanently in 2000.
At 97, Buckley is currently the oldest surviving person to have served in the U.S. Senate