September 14, 2009
Adam Liptak of ‘N.Y. Times’ to discuss the Roberts Court
New York Times Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak will discuss the court under the leadership of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. at Johns Hopkins’ 2009 Constitutional Forum, a discussion of important legal issues held in conjunction with the annual observance of Constitution Day, Sept. 17.
Liptak’s talk, “The Roberts Court in the Obama Era,” will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday in 110 Hodson Hall on the Homewood campus.
As he begins his fifth term, Roberts has emerged as master strategist on the Supreme Court, laying the groundwork for taking it in a largely conservative direction even as the last election has moved the nation to the left. Liptak’s talk will look at the influence and jurisprudence of Roberts, the youngest member of his court, and, just a week after Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s first argument, will explore how she may be expected to influence her colleagues. Liptak will also look back at some of the major cases in the term just concluded and preview others on the horizon.
Liptak’s column on legal affairs, “Sidebar,” appears every other Tuesday in the Times. In 2009 he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting for a series of columns examining ways in which the American legal system differs from those of other nations. As the paper’s national legal correspondent from 2002 to 2008, Liptak covered the Supreme Court nominations of Roberts and Samuel A. Alito Jr.; the investigation into the disclosure of the identity of Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA operative; judicial ethics; and various aspects of the criminal justice system, notably the death penalty. He also was a member of the reporting teams that examined the work of former Times reporters Jayson Blair and Judith Miller. His work has appeared in The New Yorker,Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and several law reviews. A graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, Liptak practiced at a large New York City law firm and in the legal department of the New York Times Co. before joining the paper’s news staff in 2002. He has taught media law at the Columbia University School of Journalism and at Yale Law School, where he is a visiting lecturer.
The 2009 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 in the late 1880s founded what was then called the Department of Geology (now Earth and Planetary Sciences). In 1917, his family created an endowment in his memory for lectures by distinguished public figures on topics of widespread contemporary interest. Speakers have included Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
The event celebrates the day in 1787 when delegates convened for the final time to sign the U.S. Constitution.
The 2009 Constitutional Forum at Johns Hopkins is sponsored by the Krieger School’s Department of Political Science and the Office of Government, Community and Public Affairs.