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Linda Greenhouse


Mr. President, I have the honor of presenting Linda Greenhouse, Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph M. Goldstein Senior Fellow at Yale Law School.

Ms. Greenhouse, you spent thirty of your forty years at The New York Times reporting on the United States Supreme Court, balancing your own liberal views with fair, objective coverage — and did it so well that you earned a Pulitzer Prize, along with numerous major journalism awards, including the American Political Science Association’s Carey McWilliams Award for “a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.” You are also one of just two non-lawyer honorary members elected to the American Law Institute.

Your reporting has earned the respect of the members of the Court, seven of whom attended your retirement party in 2008.

Your coverage of the Supreme Court was so important that you inspired a theory of justice behavior, the “Greenhouse Effect,” which proffers that conservative justices vote with their liberal colleagues more often as their careers progress.

You also have parlayed your expertise into books, publishing a biography of Justice Harry A. Blackmun along with co-authoring tomes about the rise of the judicial right, Roe v. Wade, and an introduction to the Supreme Court. You continue to make your voice heard on issues surrounding the judicial branch and the law through a biweekly Opinionator column for the Times, helping your readers make sense of complex judicial issues that appear more and more frequently on the front page.

Mr. President, on behalf of the trustees, faculty, students and staff of Clark University, I request that the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, be conferred on Linda Greenhouse.