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USA Today Supreme Court Reporter Joan Biskupic to Speak at W&L

Joan Biskupic, Supreme Court reporter at USA Today, will bring her considerable expertise and experience to Stackhouse Theater in Elrod Commons on Wednesday, March 18, at 5 p.m. for a talk entitled, “Antonin Scalia vs. Sandra Day O’Connor: Dueling Supreme Court Legacies.”

The talk is free and open to the public and will be followed by a book signing outside the theater.

Biskupic has been following, reporting on and writing about the Supreme Court for 20 years. She covered the court for the Washington Post from 1992 to 2000 and was legal affairs writer for Congressional Quarterly from 1989 to 1992. In 2007, she was a featured commentator in the 2007 PBS series “The Supreme Court” and is a frequent guest on the PBS TV show, “Washington Week,” commenting on legal issues of the day.

Biskupic has written several books, including the 2005 legal biography, “Sandra Day O’Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice.” She is currently working on a biography about Justice Antonin Scalia, tentatively scheduled to be published next fall.

While she was writing about the law, Biskupic also was studying it, getting a law degree from Georgetown University in 1994. (She’s now a member of the D.C. Bar.) She also has a master’s in English from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor’s in journalism from Marquette University. A Chicago native, Biskupic began her reporting career in the 1970s at the Milwaukee Journal, where she covered local government.

Along with the O’Connor book — which the Washington Post called “a powerful and persuasive account” and the New Republic described as “a superbly thorough and perceptive biography” — Biskupic has written or co-written several legal references, including Congressional Quarterly’s two-volume encyclopedia on the Supreme Court. She won the 1991 Everett Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress for her coverage of the Clarence Thomas hearings.

Biskupic’s visit is made possible by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., the Reynolds Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States.