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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University September 15, 2008 | Vol. 38 No. 3
Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, Colloquium Mark Constitution Day

Jeffrey Toobin
Photo by Art Streiber/CNN

Award-winning legal affairs analyst Jeffrey Toobin will discuss how the composition of the Supreme Court will change under the country's next president at the 2008 Constitutional Forum, a discussion of important legal issues held at Johns Hopkins in conjunction with the annual observance of Constitution Day.

Toobin's talk, "The Election and the Supreme Court," will take place at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18, in 110 Hodson Hall on the Homewood campus.

A staff writer at The New Yorker since 1993 and senior analyst for CNN since 2002, Toobin is one of the most recognized and admired legal journalists in the country. At The New Yorker, he has written profiles of Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas, as well as covered such topics as the legal implications of the war on terror, the Florida recount, Kenneth Starr's investigation of President Clinton and the court trials of Martha Stewart, Timothy McVeigh and O.J. Simpson. Toobin also spent six years with ABC News, where in 2000 he received an Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elian Gonzalez case.

Toobin's first book, Opening Arguments — A Young Lawyer's First Case: United States v. Oliver North, is based on his work as an associate in the office of independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh. He is also the author of the best-selling books Too Close to Call: The 36-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election (2001); A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President (2000); and The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson (1996).

Toobin's most recent book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court (2007), spent more than four months on the New York Times best-seller list and was named one of the 10 best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Time, Newsweek, Fortune, The Economist and Entertainment Weekly. The Nine also received the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, which honors the best in American nonfiction writing.

In addition to Toobin's lecture, the university will host a public colloquium at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17, in 210 Hodson Hall. Joel Grossman, professor of political science in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, will be the speaker and moderator for the discussion, "How Supreme Court Justices Are Selected — and What Difference It Makes." All students, faculty, staff and the general public are invited to attend, listen and participate in the discussion.

The 2008 Constitutional Forum is supported by the George Huntington Williams Memorial Lectureship, established to honor the memory of Williams, a pioneer in the microscopic study of rocks and minerals. He was the university's first professor of petrology and founded the Department of Geology (now Earth and Planetary Sciences) in the late 1880s. In 1917, his family created an endowment in his memory for lectures by distinguished public figures on topics of widespread contemporary interest. Past speakers have included Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

The events will celebrate Constitution Day, officially Sept. 17. That is the day in 1787 when delegates convened for the final time to sign the U.S. Constitution.

The 2008 Constitutional Forum at Johns Hopkins is sponsored by the Department of Political Science, Institute for Policy Studies and Office of Government, Community and Public Affairs.


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