Lawrence, Hill, Mandrell and McNamara to analyze Kagan appointment

Eileen McNamara

Elena Kagan’s nomination to be the 112th Justice and fourth woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court was confirmed a little over a month ago after Senate hearings that included much speculation about her personal life and dominated headlines this summer. 

The hearings will be the focus of a roundtable discussion among an array of Brandeis experts on legal and gender issues at 5 p.m. Thursday, September 16, in the Presentation Room of the new Shapiro Admissions Building.

Participating in the event will be President-elect Fred Lawrence, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eileen McNamara, Women and Gender Studies Program chair James Mandrell and Professor of Social Policy, Law and Women's Studies Anita Hill. The program is free and open to the public. refreshments will be served.

McNamara, professor of the practice in journalism, says the coverage of the Kagan nomination raises questions about whether men and women are treated equally by the media.  “Would the Wall Street Journal have run a photo of [Supreme Court Justice] John Roberts playing softball on its front page to accompany confirmation coverage?” asks McNamara, who says speculation about Kagan’s sexuality was a recurrent theme.

“So many questions have been raised about her marriage status,” says McNamara, who believes that some coverage bolstered stereotypes. “Should her haircut have been such a focus?”  McNamara asks.

The event is sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program   and co-sponsored by American Studies, Journalism, Legal Studies, and Politics.

For further information, call 781-736-3045 or email

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage