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Did Conservatives Really Remake the Supreme Court?

Pepperdine University School of Law
Thursday, February 1, 2007
3:30 to 5 p.m.

Watch the webcast: Part One and Part Two

A Constitutional Conversation with ABC News National Supreme Court Correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg on the release of the highly acclaimed book Supreme Conflict

A Constitutional Conversation between one of television's most recognizable Supreme Court reporters, Jan Crawford Greenburg, and four of the nation's most respected constitutional scholars:

Jesse H. Choper, Earl Warren Professor of Public Law, University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall)

Douglas W. Kmiec, Caruso Family Chair and Professor of Constitutional Law, Pepperdine University

Kenneth W. Starr, Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean and Professor of Law

Jonathan D. Varat, Professor of Law and Former Dean, UCLA


Supreme Conflict opens, like never before, the red curtains behind the supreme bench. The book provides an informed and intelligent examination of the inner workings of the high court and the behind-the-scenes story of how the justices came to be selected.

This is a surprising and remarkable story told with authority and confidence by Jan Crawford Greenburg, the University of Chicago law graduate who has become one of the nation's most valued journalists. The author's credits include being a prize winning reporter for the Chicago Tribune as well as PBS' NewsHour's Supreme Court voice for many years.

Today, Ms. Greenburg is the national legal reporter for ABC News. Ms. Greenburg's recounting of the extraordinary contemporary changes on the Court are based on her personal interviews with the justices themselves from Sandra Day O'Connor to John Roberts to Samuel Alito. "This is no hearsay account," observes Professor Kmiec. "Jan Crawford Greenburg has talked with virtually everyone who had a hand in these important public decisions, done substantial research in the archival papers of the justices at the Library of Congress and provided a comprehensive examination of documents from the Reagan Library that have never before been publicly discussed. Ms. Greenburg researches like a scholar and writes with the pen of the most accessible and objective narrator."

The author will read and summarize passages from this exciting and well written new book and engage in a lively conversation with scholars and audience alike. In the hundreds of events held at the law school each year, this is one not to be missed.

Supreme Conflict will be released just a few days before Ms. Greenburg's presentation and copies will be available for purchase and autograph by the author.

  • How did centrist Anthony Kennedy substitute for right-fielder Robert Bork?
  • Why have three contemporary Supreme Court appointments all come from the Office of Legal Counsel?
  • Was Dean Starr the top choice of the White House, when last-minute Machiavellian maneuvers gave David Souter the nod?
  • What's the real story behind the Miers nomination and who actually ended it?
  • What role did Professor Kmiec play in judicial selection, including his pal, Sam Alito?

Jan Crawford Greenburg is an ABC News correspondent based in Washington, D.C., where she covers the Supreme Court and provides legal analysis for all ABC News broadcasts.

Prior to joining ABC , Ms. Greenburg was the national legal affairs reporter for the Chicago Tribune, the Supreme Court correspondent for The News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, and a legal analyst for CBS Evening News, The Early Show and Face the Nation. She covered the Supreme Court and national legal issues, including judicial appointments and confirmation battles. Ms. Greenburg joined the Tribune in 1987, and won the Tribune's top reporting award in 2001, as part of a team of reporters who covered the 2000 presidential election and the subsequent legal battles over the White House. In 1996, she returned to Alabama, where she had grown up on a cattle farm, to report and write a 13-part series on the South, a generation after the civil rights movement. Again, Ms. Greenburg won the Tribune's top reporting award for her work.

Ms. Greenburg graduated from the University of Alabama and received her law degree from the University of Chicago. She has taught journalism at American University and frequently speaks about the court to universities, law schools, legal organizations, and civic groups across the country. She is a member of the New York bar. Ms. Greenburg is married to Douglas Greenburg, a Chicago native and attorney. They have four children.

Supreme Conflict is published by Penguin Press and will be released late January 2007.

Contact: margaret.barfield@pepperdine.edu or phone 310.506.4653