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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

Senate Leadership Reaches Partial Deal on Judicial Nominations

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: March 14, 2012 at 03:55 pm

Today, after three months of slow-walking votes on judicial nominations, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to move forward on 14 judicial nominations. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took the dramatic step of filing cloture petitions on 17 district court nominees. Instead of requiring filibuster votes on these 17 nominations, Senate leadership agreed to schedule yes-or-no votes on 12 district court nominations and 2 circuit court nominations by early May.


Take Action to Move 17 Judicial Nominees Forward

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: March 13, 2012 at 02:13 pm

We just recently updated you about how a minority of Senators have continued to block yes-or-no votes for judicial nominees, some who have been waiting for months. Yesterday, in a bold move for justice, Senate Majority Leader Reid filed cloture on 17 nominations, in order to move them one step closer to a yes-or-no vote on the Senate floor. Your Senators need to hear from you to ensure that these nominees receive a yes-or-no vote.

CALL YOUR SENATORS AT 1-866-338-5720 TODAY! Tell them:

  • I am your constituent and I live...
  • I am calling to urge the Senator to allow yes-or-no votes on all 17 judicial nominees for whom Senate Majority Leader Reid filed cloture petitions.
  • With 83 judgeships sitting empty, 35 of which are considered judicial emergencies, the Senate's continued failure to act is unconscionable.
  • Americans deserve to have a federal judiciary that is functioning at full capacity.

Tell Your Senators That It's Time for Votes on Judicial Nominees

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: March 08, 2012 at 12:19 pm

The U.S. Senate has only confirmed a handful of judges in 2012 — despite the fact that over ten percent of judicial seats are vacant and people around the country are waiting for justice. Why? Because Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to allow yes-or-no votes on judicial nominees. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently stated that he's ready to take extraordinary steps to move nominees, if a deal isn't reached soon.

We need to make the most of this opportunity: tell your Senators to vote on ALL judicial nominees in March.

Eighteen judicial nominees are currently waiting for a vote, twelve of whom were approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2011. Most of these nominees are individuals who would add sorely needed diversity to the federal bench, including by gender diversity. These are highly qualified nominees with bipartisan support. The only thing standing between them and a yes-or-no vote is a minority of Senators determined to slow down the confirmation process.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Tell your Senators to call on their leadership to schedule votes on judicial nominees this work period. Tell them you expect votes on ALL pending judicial nominees.


Tell Your Senators to Stop Obstruction of Judicial Nominees

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: February 13, 2012 at 10:30 am

We are starting 2012 much as we ended 2011 -- with a minority of U.S. Senators blocking confirmation votes on federal judicial nominees. Most recently, Senator Mike Lee of Utah announced his intention to block votes on all judicial and executive branch nominees. Even though a nominee to a Utah court -- whom Senator Lee supports -- is waiting for a vote, Senator Lee won't back down.

If this sounds familiar, it's because we've seen the same story play out over and over. Enough is enough: tell your Senators to vote on ALL judicial nominees.

There are 18 nominees ready for a Senate vote, eight of whom are women. If these eight women are confirmed, the gender diversity of two circuit courts and numerous district courts around the country would increase significantly. While President Obama's nominees have been more diverse than any prior President's, the Senate has to confirm them in order for people needing justice to actually benefit from a more diverse bench.


Critics Get It Wrong on Contraceptive Coverage

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: February 01, 2012 at 02:50 pm

Opponents of the recent contraceptive coverage announcement by the Department of Health & Human Services are trying to twist this major advance on contraception into a fight about abortion. In the Washington Post, Michael Gerson states that the rule requires Catholic-affiliated organizations to provide insurance coverage for "abortifacients." CNN's Belief Blog claims the new rule "forces employers to cover contraception and abortion." While both advance several faulty arguments, it's time to put to rest the claim about abortion. The rule is directly and explicitly limited to FDA-approved contraception.