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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 12, 2006

Greenhouse Will Address Change In The U.S. Supreme Court Sept. 14

When it comes to the history of the U.S. Supreme Court, few observers have had the experience of New York Times correspondent Linda Greenhouse.

"Linda Greenhouse has been covering the Supreme Court for nearly 30 years, and she's seen a sea-change in the philosophy of the Court," said N. William Hines, professor of law at the University of Iowa College of Law. "Not many people can provide the kind of insight into the development of the Court's current judicial philosophy as she can."

Greenhouse will offer some of her insight when she delivers the College of Law's 2006 Levitt Lecture, "A Work In Progress? Continuity and Change on the U.S. Supreme Court," at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, in the Second Floor Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Only one current justice -- John Paul Stevens -- was on the court when Greenhouse started on the beat for the Times in 1978. At that time, Hines said the court's philosophy was still largely expansionist when it came to constitutional interpretation of federal power, as it had been from the 1930s. Since then, however, a series of justices appointed by Presidents Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush have created a judicial philosophy much friendlier to the notion of curtailing federal powers and giving greater recognition to the rights of states to govern themselves.

"She's documented one of the most significant shifts in philosophy the court has ever seen," said Hines, who coordinates the Levitt Lecture Series for the law school.

For her coverage of the court, Greenhouse was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism (beat reporting) in 1998. In 2004, she received the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

Greenhouse has also covered some of the court's most significant personalities, including Sandra Day O'Conner, the first woman to be appointed justice; Clarence Thomas, the court's second African-American justice whose Senate hearings created lurid headlines for months; and Harry Blackmun, author of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. In fact, Greenhouse was the first reporter to be given access to Blackmun's personal archive, and her research resulted in the 2005 book "Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey." The book shows how Blackmun evolved from a conservative jurist appointed by Richard Nixon to a liberal who opposed capital punishment and wrote the Roe decision.

Greenhouse is a graduate of Radcliffe College, where she currently serves on the advisory committee to the Schlesinger Library on the History of American Women. She earned a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School, and has several honorary degrees.

The Richard S. Levitt Family Distinguished Lectureship was created in 1995 through a generous endowment gift from the Levitt family to the Iowa Law School Foundation. The purpose of the Levitt Lectures is to bring to the Iowa campus distinguished national and international figures in law and government to present timely lectures to students, faculty and alumni of the College of Law. Prior Levitt Lecturers include U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, former U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, former Republic of Ireland President Mary Robinson, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, and four Nobel Peace Prize winners: Elie Wiesel, Abba Eban, Bishop Desmond Tutu and John Hume.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,