Joan Biskupic

Monday, August 15, 2022


5:30 pm MDT

The Supreme Court: Looking Back While Looking Ahead

head shot of Seminars at Steamboat speaker William Galston

The Supreme Court is transforming the law in America, rolling back a half century of constitutional rights from abortion to voter protections. Will a new justice make a difference? Journalist, author and lawyer Joan Biskupic is currently CNN’s full-time legal analyst. She has covered the U.S. Supreme Court since 1989 and has written biographies of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia and Sonia Sotomayor. She has been described as “one of our country’s most insightful writers about the Supreme Court.” 

Before joining CNN, Biskupic had served as editor-in-charge for Legal Affairs at Reuters and Supreme Court correspondent for the Washington Post and USA Today. She has also been a visiting law professor at the University of California Irvine. Biskupic was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in explanatory journalism in 2015.

Her books include The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of John Roberts, 2019; Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice, 2014; American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 2009; and Sandra Day O’Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became its Most Influential Justice, 2005.

In a Washington Post book review, University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone described Biskupic’s 2019 book on the Chief Justice as “an extraordinarily insightful, thoughtful and accessible analysis of Roberts’s personal life, professional career, judicial experience and approach to constitutional interpretation. It is essential reading for anyone who truly wants to understand this pivotal moment in Supreme Court history.”

Biskupic earlier originated The Supreme Court Yearbook for the Congressional Quarterly Press and authored the first three volumes; the inaugural edition was selected by the American Library Association as an Outstanding Reference Source in 1991. 

She holds a B.A. from Marquette University and a J.D. from Georgetown University. During her research and writing of the judicial biographies, she received three residential fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.