Dahlia Lithwick


Tony Lewis changed everything about Supreme Court reporting. He changed everything because he inserted himself directly into the conversation between the Justices of the Supreme Court and the American public. He wasn’t writing for the constitutional scholars; he wasn’t writing for the history books (although he might have been) and he wasn’t writing to impress the justices (although he did). Instead, Lewis was a translator, an ambassador, who in the Warren Court era fashioned himself as the People’s Solicitor General; he was the advocate for the little guy before the high court, and an advocate to his readers about what the Court should be doing for the little guy. With sophisticated legal analysis and an eye for jurisprudential trends and shifts, his beat was the Constitution, as much as the Court. And as a consequence, his fingerprints are all over the doctrine he was covering.

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