Linda Greenhouse

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Linda Greenhouse
Greenhouse in 2019
Linda Joyce Greenhouse

(1947-01-09) January 9, 1947 (age 76)
EducationRadcliffe College (AB)
Yale University (MSL)
(m. 1981)
ChildrenHannah Fidell
AwardsPulitzer Prize (1998)

Linda Joyce Greenhouse (born January 9, 1947) is an American legal journalist who is the Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph M. Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School.[1] She is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who has covered the United States Supreme Court for nearly three decades for The New York Times.[2] Since 2017, she is the president of the American Philosophical Society,[3] and a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Senate.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Greenhouse was born in a Jewish family[5][6] in New York City, to H. Robert Greenhouse, a physician and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Dorothy (née Greenlick). She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Radcliffe College in 1968, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her Master of Studies in Law from Yale Law School in 1978,[7][8] during which time she was a student of Robert Bork.[9]


Linda Greenhouse (left) at the Phi Beta Kappa Book Awards Dinner in Washington, DC on December 7, 2018.

Greenhouse began her 40-year career at The New York Times covering state government in the paper's bureau in Albany.[2] After completing her master's degree on a Ford Foundation fellowship, she returned to the Times and covered 29 sessions of the Supreme Court from 1978 to 2007,[10] with the exception of two years during the mid-1980s during which she covered Congress.[7] Since 1981, she has published over 2,800 articles in the Times.[11] She has been a regular guest on the PBS program Washington Week.[12]

In 2008, Greenhouse accepted an offer from The New York Times for an early retirement at the end of the Supreme Court session in the summer of 2008.[13][14] Seven of the nine sitting Justices attended a goodbye party for Greenhouse on June 12, 2008.[14]

In 2010, Greenhouse and co-author Reva Siegel put out a book on the development of the abortion debate prior to the 1973 Supreme Court ruling on the subject: Before Roe v. Wade. This was largely a selection of primary documents, though with some commentary.

From 2010 to 2021, Greenhouse wrote a biweekly opinion column for The New York Times, centered on the Supreme Court.[15]

Greenhouse criticized US policies and actions at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and Haditha in a 2006 speech at Harvard University.[16] In it, Greenhouse said she started crying a few years back at a Simon & Garfunkel concert because her generation hadn't done a better job of running the country than previous generations.[17]

Awards and prizes[edit]

Greenhouse was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism (Beat Reporting) in 1998 "for her consistently illuminating coverage of the United States Supreme Court."[7] In 2004, she received the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism[18] and the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism.[19] She was a Radcliffe Institute Medal winner in 2006.[20]

When she was at Radcliffe, she said in a speech given in 2006, "I was the Harvard stringer for the Boston Herald, which regularly printed, and paid me for, my accounts of student unrest and other newsworthy events at Harvard. But when it came time during my senior year to look for a job in journalism, the Herald would not even give me an interview, and neither would the Boston Globe, because these newspapers had no interest in hiring women."[17]


Greenhouse has expressed her personal views as an outspoken advocate for abortion and critic of conservative religious values,[16] and a 2006 report on NPR questioned whether this compromised the appearance that she maintains journalistic neutrality on such matters. New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent said that he has never received a single complaint of bias in Greenhouse's coverage.[16]

Conflict of interest[edit]

Ed Whelan, writing in a blog associated with National Review, suggested that Greenhouse had an obligation to her readers to inform them when she reported on a Supreme Court case for which her husband, Eugene Fidell, had submitted an amicus brief,[21] such as in the Hamdan case and the Boumediene case. Clark Hoyt, the public editor of the New York Times, opined that the paper "should have clued in readers" to Greenhouse's conflict, but defended the neutrality of her coverage.[22] Emily Bazelon and Dahlia Lithwick, writing in Slate, complained that the New York Times "had failed to stand up" for Greenhouse and defended Greenhouse from Whelan's criticism.[23] They quoted Yale Law School professor Judith Resnik who pointed out that Whelan had been unable to point to any actual sign of bias.

Personal life[edit]

She married lawyer Eugene R. Fidell on January 1, 1981, in Washington, D.C., in a Jewish ceremony.[24] Together they have one daughter, filmmaker Hannah Fidell (born October 7, 1985).[25]


  • Greenhouse, Linda (March 2004). ""Because We Are Final" Judicial Review Two Hundred Years After Marbury" (PDF). Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 148 (1): 38. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 18, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
  • Greenhouse, Linda (2005). Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey. New York: Times Books. ISBN 0-8050-8057-0.
  • Greenhouse, Linda; Siegel, Reva (2011). Before Roe v. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's Ruling. New York: Kaplan Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60978-663-2.


  1. ^ "Yale Faculty: Linda Greenhouse". Yale Law School. 31 August 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Talk to the Newsroom: Supreme Court Reporter". The New York Times. July 14, 2008.
  3. ^ "Officers & Council".
  4. ^ "PBK - Phi Beta Kappa Leadership".
  5. ^ Brennan, Elizabeth A.; Clarage, Elizabeth C. (December 17, 1998). Who's who of Pulitzer Prize Winners. Greenwood. p. 6. ISBN 9781573561112.
  6. ^ Prager, Dennis (May 4, 2010). "When Jews on the Left See Americans on the Right as Nazis". Jewish Journal. Another liberal Jewish commentator for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse, likened the situation of illegal immigrants in Arizona to that of the Jews of Nazi-occupied Denmark.
  7. ^ a b c "Pulitzer Prize Winners 1998: Beat Reporting - Biography". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
  8. ^ "Yale Law School : M.S.L. Program". Archived from the original on October 6, 2007. Retrieved October 7, 2007.
  9. ^ Supreme Revenge: Linda Greenhouse Interview, retrieved 2023-02-08
  10. ^ Greenhouse, Linda (2008-07-13). "2,691 Decisions". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
  11. ^ "Linda Greenhouse". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-07.
  12. ^ "Washington Week. Linda Greenhouse". PBS. Archived from the original on 2007-09-11. Retrieved 2007-10-07.
  13. ^ "NYT's Greenhouse Takes Buyout Offer". Houston Chronicle. 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
  14. ^ a b Tony Mauro (June 12, 2008). "A Goodbye for Greenhouse". Legal Times. Retrieved 2008-06-15.
  15. ^ "Opinion - Linda Greenhouse - Do We Have the Supreme Court We Deserve?". New York Times. 2021-12-30. Retrieved 2022-04-14.
  16. ^ a b c Folkenflik, David (26 September 2006). "Critics Question Reporter's Airing of Personal Views". All Things Considered. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
  17. ^ a b "2006 Radcliffe Institute Medalist Linda Greenhouse '68". Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Archived from the original on 2007-08-26. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
  18. ^ "Goldsmith Career Award". The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard University. Archived from the original on 2007-09-01. Retrieved 2007-10-07.
  19. ^ "John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism - Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism". Archived from the original on 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2007-10-07.
  20. ^ "Linda Greenhouse '68 Wins 2006 Radcliffe Institute Medal" (Press release). Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. 2006-06-08. Archived from the original on 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2007-10-07.
  21. ^ Ed Whelan (13 December 2007). "Linda Greenhouse's Ethical In-Fidell-ity". Bench Memos, National Review Online. Archived from the original on 29 February 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
  22. ^ Clark Hoyt (20 January 2008). "Public and Private Lives, Intersecting". New York Times.
  23. ^ Emily Bazelon; Dahlia Lithwick (January 22, 2008). "Lay Off Linda: Why doesn't the New York Times stand up for Linda Greenhouse?". Slate magazine. Retrieved January 25, 2008. Whelan didn't point to any concrete problem with Greenhouse's handling of these cases. That should be easier to do than with almost any other reporter, given that Greenhouse relies primarily on court filings and oral arguments that are publicly available in their entirety, as Yale law professor Judith Resnik points out to us. Unable to point to any actual bias, Whelan resorts to the petulant claim that the effect of Fidell's involvement in the detainee cases 'would be impossible to separate ... from the broader political bias that pervades so much of Greenhouse's reporting.
  24. ^ "Linda Greenhouse Bride of Eugene R. Fidell". The New York Times. January 2, 1981.
  25. ^ Brennan, Elizabeth A.; Clarage, Elizabeth C. (1999). Who's who of Pulitzer Prize Winners. Greenwood Publishing. p. 6. ISBN 9781573561112. Retrieved October 2, 2017.

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