Jeffrey Toobin, a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1993 and the senior legal analyst for CNN, is one of the most recognized and admired legal journalists in the country.
His most recent book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, was published in the fall of 2007. The book spent more than four months on the New York Times best-seller list and was named one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review, Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Entertainment Weekly, and the Economist. The Nine also received the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for Non-fiction and the Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association.
Toobin joined CNN in 2002 after six years with ABC News. In 2000, he received an Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elian Gonzalez case. Before joining The New Yorker, Toobin served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Brooklyn, New York. He also served as an associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh, an experience that provided the basis for his first book, Opening Arguments: A Young Lawyer’s First Case: United States v. Oliver North.
Jeffrey Toobin received his B.A. from Harvard College in 1982, and, in 1986, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He lives in Manhattan.
Question: What surprised you in researching your book?
Jeff Toobin: Well, I guess, the… I think the remarkable personal and ideological journey of Sandra Day O’Connor was to me the core of the book and the most interesting part of it. I guess, what you saw was a traditional [Goldwater], moderate Republican confronted by the Bush administration which she, of course, helped bring into office and Bush [IB]. And you watched her saying, “Wait a second, this is not my Republican Party. This is too extreme.” And then, you have the Terri Schiavo case where O’Connor sees her Republican Party sort of starting to invade the most personal parts of medical decision making at a time when her own husband is slipping into the grip of a similar condition, Alzheimer’s disease, that personal political drama was really the biggest surprise and the most interesting thing to me in the book.