Greenhouse, Linda 1947-

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Greenhouse, Linda 1947-


Born January 9, 1947, in New York, NY; daughter of H. Robert (a physician) and Dorothy Greenhouse; married Eugene R. Fidell (an attorney). Education: Radcliffe College, B.A., 1968; Yale University, M.S.L., 1978.


Writer, journalist, educator, and lecturer. New York Times, New York, NY, assistant to James Reston, 1968-69, local staff member, 1969-73, local political staff member, 1974—, state legislative bureau chief, 1976-77, U.S. Supreme Court correspondent, 1978—. State University of New York at Albany, Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, 2006. Practicing Law Institute, faculty member. Frequent lecturer at colleges, universities, and law schools throughout the United States. Guest on television programs, including PBS's Washington Week in Review, the Charlie Rose Show, and Dennis Miller.


American Academy of Arts and Sciences (fellow, 1994—), American Philosophical Society, Yale Law Association (member of executive committee), American Law Institute (honorary member).


Ford Foundation fellowship for journalists at Yale Law School, 1977-78; John Peter Zenger Special Media Award, New York State Bar Association, 1993; Pulitzer Prize, 1998, for excellence in reporting on the Supreme Court beat; Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism, Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, 2004, for her work as the New York Times's Supreme Court correspondent; Radcliffe Institute Medal, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2006; Henry Friendly Medal, American Law Institute; John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania.


Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey, Time Books/Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2005.


Writer and journalist Linda Greenhouse is a New York Times reporter who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for her coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court. She is the author of Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey, an in-depth biography of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, a noted jurist whose work left a strong legacy in the Supreme Court and had profound effects on U.S. society as well. Blackmun was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1970 by President Richard M. Nixon. When he took his position on the court, Blackmun was expected to vote along conservative lines, in tandem with his lifelong friend, Chief Justice Warren Berger. At first, Blackmun and Berger's judicial opinions and philosophies did coincide. However, over the years Blackmun's attitudes evolved until he became one of the court's more liberal justices. For example, Blackmun once supported the death penalty. Greenhouse notes that he became more disdainful of capital punishment with each term, until he was able to completely denounce it as unconstitutional by the time of his retirement in 1994. Blackmun was personally chosen by Berger to write the majority opinion in the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade. Greenhouse notes that this judicial opinion marked the beginning of an ideological rift between the two lifelong friends. Blackmun's evolving ideology, staunch support of Roe v. Wade, and changing opinions on everything from poverty to women's rights eventually caused irreversible damage to his six-decade friendship with Berger. Greenhouse delves deeply into archival records, vast collections of personal papers, a lengthy oral history recorded by the justice, and other primary documents to assemble a detailed portrait of Blackmun's personal and professional life. Blackmun's "judicial trek is simply and gracefully told" by Greenhouse, commented Gordon Turiff in the Advocate.

Greenhouse portrays Blackmun as a "self-effacing and scholarly judge, devoid of partisanship, willing to follow his ideas wherever they led him," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. A Kirkus Reviews critic described the book as being "detailed and well considered: a welcome study of Blackmun's contributions to the law." Turiff called Greenhouse's work "an important book, important for the lesson it teaches us that we are all capable of change and for the reminder that we resist change at the risk of intellectual dishonesty and emotional turmoil."



Advocate, September, 2005, Gordon Turiff, review of Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey, p. 765.

America, October 17, 2005, Mary Meehan, "One of Nine," review of Becoming Justice Blackmun, p. 24.

American Prospect, September, 2005, Stanley I. Kutler, "The Conservative as Liberal," review of Becoming Justice Blackmun, p. 38.

Booklist, May 15, 2005, Vernon Ford, review of Becoming Justice Blackmun, p. 1619.

Commentary, July-August, 2005, Ken I. Kersch, "Wild about Harry," review of Becoming Justice Blackmun, p. 69.

Florida Bar Journal, February, 2006, C.D. Rogers, review of Becoming Justice Blackmun, p. 44.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2005, review of Becoming Justice Blackmun, p. 333.

National Review, August 8, 2005, Robert P. George, "Wild about Harry," review of Becoming Justice Blackmun, p. 47.

Publishers Weekly, April 11, 2005, review of Becoming Justice Blackmun, p. 45.

Trial, February, 2006, Robert S. Peck, review of Becoming Justice Blackmun, p. 71.

Washington Monthly, July-August, 2005, Stephen Pomper, "Blackmun's Drift: Linda Greenhouse Charts, but Doesn't Explain, How a Conservative Judge Came to Write Roe v. Wade," review of Becoming Justice Blackmun, p. 58.


American Law Institute Web site, (January 2, 2007), "Anthony Lewis and Linda Greenhouse Become First Nonlawyers to Receive Institute's Henry Friendly Medal.", (January 2, 2007), Stuart Shiffman, review of Becoming Justice Blackmun.

Harvard University Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Web site, (June 8, 2006), "Linda Greenhouse '68 Wins 2006 Radcliffe Institute Medal."

Internet Movie Database, (January 2, 2007), filmography of Linda Greenhouse.

Pulitzer Prize Web site, (January 2, 2007).

State University of New York at Albany Web site, (January 2, 2007), "Linda Greenhouse, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Supreme Court Journalist, to Speak on ‘Court, Country, and Culture.’, (September 27, 2006), Clay Waters, "NPR Reporter Stunned at Linda Greenhouse Speech."