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
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,
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
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
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.
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.