Sunday, September 11 at 4:00 pm

Speaker Series: Linda Greenhouse

The Library is pleased to welcome back Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Linda Greenhouse to our speaker series on Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. to discuss her new book, The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right, co-authored by Michael J. Graetz.

Greenhouse-jacketWith The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right (Simon & Schuster, June 7, 2016) “two powerhouse law historians/journalists deliver a major contribution to the history of the Supreme Court” (Kirkus, starred review). Linda Greenhouse is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who covered the Supreme Court for The New York Times for nearly thirty years. Michael J. Graetz is a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, the author of seven books, and has held policy positions in the Treasury Department.  Their new book, The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right, is a timely and provocative perspective on the inner workings of the Warren Burger Supreme Court (1969-1986). Though many historians consider the Burger Court merely transitional between the liberal Warren Court and the conservative Rehnquist Court, Graetz and Greenhouse argue that the Burger Court undeniably moved American law to the right, establishing the legal foundation for the conservative courts that followed.

Making strategic use of the justices’ personal papers, the authors offer a complete portrait of the Burger Court. In five parts—Crime, Race, Social Transformation, Business, and the Presidency—Graetz and Greenhouse explore the most important Supreme Court cases of that era. Decisions on the death penalty, affirmative action, abortion, campaign financing, corporate free speech, and presidential power shaped the law on issues that persist as sources of legal, political and social conflict. In the midst of this year’s Supreme Court decisions and the search for a new justice, whose appointment could reorient the Court, The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right is an essential examination of one of the most transformative and misunderstood Supreme Courts in modern history, a Court that went far toward defining the constitutional landscape today.

The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right is an expertly researched and timely investigation of the Burger Court’s transformative rulings. With sharp insight, Michael J. Graetz and Linda Greenhouse persuasively demonstrate how the Burger Court furthered the conservative legal agenda while handing down some of the most important and enduring Supreme Court decisions in history.

Photo by Marissa Doran

Photo by Marissa Doran

About the authorLinda Greenhouse, during nearly thirty years as the Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize and earned a reputation as an authoritative and insightful chronicler of the Supreme Court and its justices. She appeared regularly on the PBS program Washington Week and lectures frequently about the Supreme Court to legal and judicial audiences. She currently teaches at Yale Law School and writes a biweekly online opinion column for The Times on the Court and the law. Among her previous books are Becoming Justice Blackmun and The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction.  She lives part-time in Stockbridge.


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