Future of the Supreme Court topic for Constitution Day

Lyle Denniston, a journalist who has covered the U.S. Supreme Court for more than 50 years, will speak on “The Future of the Supreme Court: Mirror of the Past?” Denniston will speak Thursday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Richard and Lucille Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall at Linfield College.

His lecture is in recognition of Constitution Day on Sept. 17. During his visit he will speak to classes and other interested groups on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 16 and 17.

Denniston has been a working journalist for 62 years and covered the Supreme Court for the past 52 years. He has covered one of every four justices ever to sit on the court, and has covered the entire careers of 10 of the 112 justices who have served. He has covered the court for The Baltimore Sun, The Boston Globe, The Washington Star and The Wall Street Journal. He remains active reporting for an Internet-based clearing house of information about the Supreme Court’s work – the Web log known as “SCOTUSblog.” He also reports for WBUR, an NPR affiliate in Boston. He currently serves as moderator at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, for programs on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Constitution. He is a consultant and participant in the annual Supreme Court Term Preview at the College of William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Va., and has participated in seminars at the Center on the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier in Orange County, Va.

Denniston has taught a course in American constitutional history in the Washington program of Penn State University and a course on the legal process at the Georgetown University Law Center – one of the few non-lawyers on the adjunct faculty there. He also taught at American University’s Washington College of Law, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Georgetown University and at the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover where he received an honorary doctor of laws degree in 2002.

Denniston is the author of “The Reporter and The Law: Techniques of Covering the Courts,” a standard manual used in newsrooms and in academic journalism throughout the nation. He has contributed a chapter in the just-published book, “A Good Quarrel,” on arguments before the Supreme Court. He has published widely in periodicals and newsletters, and is a frequent lecturer. In 2005 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and has an MA degree from Georgetown University in political science and American history.

For more information, contact Brad Thompson, associate professor of mass communication, 503-883-2291, or Nick Buccola, assistant professor of political science, 503-883-2246.