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Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President

Described as "guiding the battles of the women's rights movement" by the New York Times, Marcia Greenberger is the founder and Co-President of the National Women's Law Center. The creation of the Center forty years ago established her as the first full-time women's rights legal advocate in Washington, D.C.

A recognized expert on women and the law, particularly in the areas of education and employment, health and reproductive rights, and family economic security, Ms. Greenberger has been a leader in securing the passage of major legislation, counsel in landmark litigation establishing new legal protections for women, and the author of numerous published articles. Examples include the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 providing critical protections against sexual harassment on the job, and Supreme Court victories strengthening protections for students and teachers against sex discrimination in schools.

Her leadership and contributions are reflected in the professional honors she has received and the numerous boards on which she has served. She has been given the James Wilson Award and the Alumni Award of Merit from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women "Beacon" Leadership Award, the American Bar Association Margaret Brent Award for 2012, the National Association of Women Lawyers' Arabella Babb Mansfield Award, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Lafayette College as well as the Woman Lawyer of the Year Award by the D.C. Women's Bar Association and the William J. Brennan, Jr. Award by the District of Columbia Bar. Additionally, she has been recognized by Working Woman Magazine as one of the 25 heroines whose activities over 25 years have helped women in the workplace, by Washingtonian Magazine as one of Washington, D.C.'s most powerful women, by Legal Times as a "Top Lawyer" and one of its "30 Champions", and by Legal Times and The National Law Journal as one of "Washington's Most Influential Women Lawyers." She has received the Dr. Jane Evans Pursuit of Justice Award from Women of Reform Judaism, A Woman of Genius Award from Trinity College, the "21 Leaders of the 21st Century" Award from Womens eNews, and the Woman of Distinction Award from Soroptimist International of the Americas. She was elected to the Court of Honor of the Philadelphia High School for Girls, received the Hope Award from Calvary Women's Shelter and awards from the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association and the Center for Law and Social Policy. She received a Presidential appointment to the National Skill Standards Board, and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

Ms. Greenberger received her B.A. with honors and J.D. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. She practiced law with the Washington, D.C., firm of Caplin and Drysdale before she started and became Director of the Women's Rights Project of the Center for Law and Social Policy, which became the National Women's Law Center in 1981.

My Take

What a Speech! Thank President Obama

Posted by | Posted on: February 14, 2013 at 01:07 pm

What a night, and what a speech!

On Tuesday, President Obama laid out an important economic agenda for women and families in his State of the Union address — expanding early education opportunities, advancing fair tax and budget policies, increasing the federal minimum wage, and passing both the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Violence Against Women Act.

This is a full and impressive agenda for President Obama's second term. But we're up for the challenge and we hope you are, too!

Please join us in thanking President Obama for his commitment to women and their families. Your voice will send a strong signal to the White House that it's on the right track.

What's our take on all of these key issues?

  • Expanding Early Education Opportunities — President Obama's early childhood initiative would expand access to critical early learning opportunities for millions of preschool age and young children across the country. This would help many low- and middle-income women and their families who are struggling to afford the early learning opportunities that put their children on a path to success.
  • Advancing Fair Tax and Budget Policies — President Obama called on Congress to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. This is especially important to women, because millions of hard-working women are struggling to lift their families out of poverty and cuts in funding for public services have cost women hundreds of thousands of jobs. We also need a tax system that fairly raises the revenue required to make these wise investments and stave off deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other programs women and their families count on.

Taking Stock of Diversity in the Federal Judiciary; Significant Progress Has Been Made, But Much Remains to Be Done

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: December 28, 2012 at 10:52 am
As we approach the end of President Obama’s first term in office, it’s an appropriate time to look back and take stock of the impact the President has had on the federal bench, to date. Although, thanks to a determined minority in the Senate, there is a record number of judicial seats that remain empty, the most recent additions to the federal bench are remarkable not only for their excellence and qualifications, but also for how they are changing the face of the judiciary.  
President Obama’s Administration has nominated more women and people of color for judgeships than any previous Administration in history. Overall, of the President’s confirmations, approximately 43% have been women, more than twice the rate under the previous Administration.  In fact, more women have been confirmed to the federal bench in President Obama’s first term than during President George W. Bush’s entire presidency. As a result, even with the vacancies, the percentage of active women judges on the federal bench has increased from slightly above 25% to over 30% since 2009.  
The Administration also broke gender barriers by confirming six women as the first woman judges ever to serve on their district court, and five more as the first woman circuit judge in their state.  And it must be noted, of course, that for the first time in history, three women serve on the Supreme Court at one time.  President Obama’s nomination of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan created that exciting breakthrough. 

Obstruction in Senate Leaves Millions of Americans Waiting for Justice

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: September 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

In a move that should outrage even the hardest-hearted cynic, yesterday Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow votes on 17 district court nominees, even though almost all were reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee without objection, and 12 of them have been nominated to courts that are so overwhelmed that the vacant seats have been designated “judicial emergencies.” Many have been waiting for months for a vote on the Senate floor. And confirming these nominees would have reduced the number of judicial vacancies by over one-fifth.


Caitlin Halligan Renominated to D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: June 13, 2012 at 10:45 am

Support the Nomination of Caitlin Halligan

Caitlin Halligan
Tell your Senators to support the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the D.C. Circuit.
Take Action

This week, Caitlin Halligan, one of the most respected appellate lawyers in the country, was renominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She was originally nominated in September 2010 and her nomination expired after a filibuster in December 2011. Upon her confirmation, she would become only the sixth female judge in this court's 119-year history.

Women shouldn't have to wait for justice because some senators are determined to obstruct: Tell your Senators to support the nomination of Caitlin Halligan, a highly-qualified nominee for the D.C. Circuit.

Ms. Halligan has a broad range of legal experience, including government service, private practice, and academia. She has honed her practice in state and federal appellate courts, and has argued five cases before the Supreme Court. Her many accomplishments are reflected by the unanimous "Well-Qualified" rating she received from the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. She has earned the respect and support of her peers and has been endorsed by a long list of organizations. The National Women's Law Center is proud to support her nomination.


Tell Your Senators: More Needs to Be Done on Judges

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: April 26, 2012 at 12:33 pm

The Judicial Crisis Must End

Take Action Now!
Tell your Senators to vote on all
judicial nominees and help end
judicial crisis now.
Take Action

It's been six weeks since Senate leadership reached a deal to move forward on judicial nominations, and the deal has almost played itself out. And where do we stand? Exactly where we were in March: one in nine federal judgeships sits empty, and nearly half of those vacancies are in courts so overburdened that they have been deemed judicial emergencies. Right now there are 22 nominees ready for a vote on the Senate floor, of whom 6 are women.

We're right back where we were six weeks ago. Tell your Senators to vote on all judicial nominees and help end the judicial crisis now.

Some have argued that we can't expect the Senate to get anything done with partisan gridlock. Some have argued that the confirmation process shuts down as the November elections approach, even though November is months away. But there's too much at stake to give up that easily to such excuses. While judicial seats remain vacant, trial courts' caseloads have increased. When judicial seats remain vacant, it takes longer for civil cases to be resolved. When judicial seats remain vacant, justice is not served for all Americans.