Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 169


James W. “Jim” Case was born on June 21, 1945 in Chicopee, Massachusetts. His father was a firefighter and his mother was a homemaker who raised seven children. His parents were involved in local politics. James was the fourth of the children (there were 5 boys and 2 girls). His family was Irish-German Catholic, but mostly identified with the Irish community in the town; they had strong community values. The town was a blue-collar mill town with a good public educational system that James graduated from. He then went on to Clark University (in Worchester, MA) where he majored in psychology. Then, he was drafted in November 1968 and served two years in the army during the peak of the Vietnam War. In the army, James served as an administrator in a physical therapy clinic at an Army hospital. After the Army, he returned to Maine to attend law school in Portland at the University of Southern Maine, and became active in politics as co-chair of the local Kennedy campaign committee, and became interested in labor law (his father had been a union leader, but didn’t influence him much in that sense). He also worked on George Mitchell’s campaign for Governor. After law school and after he finished working on the Mitchell campaign, James Case went to Washington to work in Muskie’s office, first as assistant counsel to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He worked on the Public Works Committee which involved economic development and environmental policy. Later, James Case’s title changed from Counsel to Legislative Director, for Ed Muskie. James Case married in 1971. He is currently a labor lawyer in Maine.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: economic atmosphere in Chicopee, Massachusetts; ethnic groups in Chicopee, Mass.; Sputnik influence on education; Ben Dorsky; meeting Muskie during law school; first impressions of Muskie; Dickey Lincoln hydro-electric project; Public Works Committee; Northern Maine Economic Development District; Eastern Maine Economic Development Program; Bath Iron Works; Estelle Lavoie; Charlie Jacobs; Madeleine Albright and her relations with Muskie; Bob Rose; Gayle Cory; Charlie Micoleau; Clean Water Act; Clean Air Act; Leon Billings; Clyde McDonald; Al From; Muskie’s political ethics beliefs during the 1976 campaign; Budget Committee; and Muskie as Secretary of State.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.