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Writing Justice Blackmun

Dorothy Clark Blackmun, widow of Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, died earlier this week. Coincidentally, this week published Writing Justice Blackmun, the text of a July 9 speech to the American Association of Law Libraries by Linda Greenhouse, Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times and author of the book Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey.

As it turns out, Dorothy Blackmun and her daughters were instrumental in bringing Greenhouse to write the book. Justice Blackmun, author of Roe v. Wade, had left his papers to the Library of Congress, with the directive that they be made public five years after his death. As the papers' March 2004 opening approached, the family and scholars feared a mob scene as people rushed to read them. The family, along with a committee of Blackmun's former law clerks, decided to give someone a two-month head start on the collection. That someone was Greenhouse. 

Her speech -- appropriate to a convention of law librarians -- tells the story of how she made her way through Blackmun's daunting and voluminous papers. You can now review those papers yourself, but start with the perspective that only Linda Greenhouse can offer.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on July 18, 2006 at 01:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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