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The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington, will absorb the National Legal Center for the Public Interest next month, creating the new AEI Legal Center for the Public Interest. The merger of the two conservative-leaning organizations will be effective Sept. 4 and is happening after leaders from the National Legal Center moved to new posts. Richard Hauser, the most recent president of the center, in June became the senior attorney for Boeing Co. in Washington. Fred Fielding, another top leader, became White House counsel in January. AEI will take on the center’s library of publications, including some that are in the pipeline, it programs and endowments, said Ted Frank, a resident fellow at AEI who will become the director of the new AEI center. For instance, the new AEI entity will publish the Supreme Court Briefing next month previously put out by the center. The center’s few employees have left, Frank said. The goals and perspectives of the two institutions on issues ranging from the rights of individuals to free enterprise to limited government meshed well, said Frank, who has been a director of the AEI Liability Project for the past two years and was formerly a lawyer at Kirkland & Ellis and O’Melveny & Myers in Washington. “The National Legal Center felt there were a lot of groups already in the field, especially in the Internet era, and that they weren’t getting the outreach that they wanted for their programs,” Frank said. “They were looking for the synergies that having the AEI behind them would provide.” The National Legal Center, which is based in Washington, was created in 1975 to foster knowledge about law and the administration of justice and to further public policy on legal, economic, legislative and regulatory issues through educational information and forums, its Web site says.

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