Before (and After) Roe v. Wade

New Perspectives on Backlash

Thu, 11/10/2011
4:30 PM, Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall
Event Category: 
Panel Discussion

The Program in Law and Public Affairs invites you to join us Thursday, November 10  at 4:30 PM for a  Public Panel Discussion on “Before (and After) Roe v. Wade:   New Perspectives on Backlash”  with Linda Greenhouse and Reva Siegel of Yale Law School.

  • Christopher Eisgruber, Provost, Princeton University

  • Michael Mc Cann, Crane/LAPA Fellow; University of Washington

  • Gordon Silverstein, University of Connecticut School of Law

Professors Greenhouse and Siegel write:  "Today, many Americans blame the Supreme Court for polarizing conflict over abortion. If only the Court had stayed its hand or decided Roe v. Wade on narrower grounds, they argue, the nation would have reached a political settlement and avoided backlash. We examine the escalation of the abortion conflict during the decade before Roe and ask what it teaches us about the logic of conflict in the decades following. Where others have deplored the abortion conflict as resulting from courts "shutting down politics," we approach the abortion conflict as an expression of politics – a conflict in which the Supreme Court was not the only or even the most important actor."

This event is free and open to the public. 

Linda Greenhouse is a Senior Research Scholar in Law, the Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. She covered the Supreme Court for The New York Times between 1978 and 2008 and currently writes a biweekly column on law. Ms. Greenhouse is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where she serves on the council, and is one of two non-lawyer honorary members of the American Law Institute, which in 2002 awarded her its Henry J. Friendly Medal. She is a member of the Council of the American Philosophical Society, which in 2005 awarded her its Henry Allen Moe Prize for writing in the humanities and jurisprudence. She is a member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers and of the Senate of Phi Beta Kappa.  She is a 1968 graduate of Radcliffe College (Harvard), where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School (1978), which she attended on a Ford Foundation fellowship.

Reva Siegel is the Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law at Yale University.  Professor Siegel's writing draws on legal history to explore questions of law and inequality, and to analyze how courts interact with representative government and popular movements in interpreting the Constitution. She is currently writing on the role of social movement conflict in guiding constitutional change, in debates over race equality, originalism and gun rights, sex discrimination, and reproductive rights:  Her publications include Before Roe v. Wade: Voices That Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's Ruling (with Linda Greenhouse, 2010); The Constitution in 2020 (edited with Jack Balkin, 2009); Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (with Brest, Levinson, Balkin & Amar, 2006) and Directions in Sexual Harassment Law (edited with Catharine A. MacKinnon, 2004).  Professor Siegel is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and serves in the American Society for Legal History, the American Association of Law Schools, and the American Constitution Society. 

Christopher Eisgruber, who also serves as Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the University Center for Human Values, clerked for Justice Stevens. The author of several books on the Supreme Court and the Constitution, he is a graduate of Princeton University, Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar, and the University of Chicago Law School.

Michael McCann is Gordon Hirabayashi Professor for the Advancement of Citizenship at the University of Washington, where he founded the University’s Comparative Law and Society Studies (CLASS) Center and the undergraduate Law, Societies, and Justice program. He recently served as chair of the Political Science Department, and is also a board member for the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the UW Center for Human Rights as well as an Adjunct Professor in the Law School. He is a recipient of the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Professor McCann has published widely in scholarly journals has both authored and edited several books. Two of these books, Rights at Work: Pay Equity Reform and the Politics of Legal Mobilization (1994) and Distorting the Law: Politics, Media, and the Litigation Crisis (with Bill Haltom)(2004) have between them won six major book awards from professional academic associations, including the Herbert Jacob Book Prize from the Law & Society Association and C. Herman Pritchett Prize from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. Professor McCann has held previous fellowships from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science in 1998, and from the Guggenheim Foundation in 2007-2008. He has served in many capacities in the Law & Society Association and was elected President for the 2011-2013 term.

Gordon Silverstein’s work focuses on American and comparative constitutional law, American political institutions and political thought, national security law and the separation of powers. His most recent book, Law’s Allure: How Law Shapes, Constrains, Saves and Kills Politics was published by Cambridge University Press in February 2009 and won the C. Herman Pritchett Prize for the best book published in the field of law and courts in 2009 from the Law & Courts Section of the American Political Science Association.  After completing his undergraduate education at Cornell University, Silverstein worked as a journalist for The Wall Street Journal in New York and Hong Kong, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Silverstein then returned to the the academic world, earning a PhD in Political Science from Harvard University. Prior to arriving at UConn Law, Silverstein spent the 2010-2011 academic year at Princeton University as a Fellow in the Program on Law and Public Affairs.