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Emily Bazelon
Bazelon recording the Slate Political Gabfest in 2009
Born (1971-03-04) March 4, 1971 (age 51)
EducationGermantown Friends School
Alma materYale University (BA, JD)
Notable credit(s)
The New York Times Magazine
Spouse(s)Paul Sabin

Emily Bazelon (born March 4, 1971) is an American journalist. She is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, a senior research fellow at Yale Law School, and co-host of the Slate podcast Political Gabfest. She is a former senior editor of Slate. Her work as a writer focuses on law, women, and family issues. She has written two national bestsellers published by Penguin Random House: Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy (2013) and Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration (2019).[1][2] Charged won the 2020 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the Current Interest category, and the 2020 Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association.[3][4] It was also the runner up for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize from Columbia University and the Nieman Foundation, and a finalist for the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism from the New York Public Library.[5][6]

Early life and education

Bazelon was born on March 4, 1971[7][8] and grew up in Philadelphia. Her father was an attorney and her mother was a psychiatrist.[9] She attended Germantown Friends School,[10] where she was on the tennis team.[11] She has three sisters: Jill Bazelon, who founded an organization that provides financial literacy classes free of charge to low-income high school students and individuals in several cities; Lara Bazelon, an associate professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law and prominent advocate for overturning wrongful convictions; and Dana Bazelon, Senior Policy Counsel to Larry Krasner, the Philadelphia district attorney.[12][13][14][15] Her family is Jewish but not especially religious; she said in an interview, "I was raised to see Judaism in terms of ethical precepts."[9][16]

Bazelon is the granddaughter of David L. Bazelon, formerly a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit,[17] and second cousin twice removed of feminist Betty Friedan.[18]

Bazelon graduated from Yale College in 1993, where she was managing editor of The New Journal. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2000 and was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.[19] In 2004, she was made a Soros Justice Media Fellow by Open Society Foundations.[20] She held the Dorot Fellowship in Israel from 1993–94.[21] After law school she worked as a law clerk for Judge Kermit Lipez of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Journalism career

Bazelon is a writer for The New York Times Magazine and former senior editor of Slate.[22][19] She has written on subjects such as voting rights,[23] the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld Guantanamo detainee due process trial[24] and the alleged post-abortion syndrome.[25] Her work as a writer focuses on law, women, and family issues.[19][26]

Before joining Slate, Bazelon was a senior editor of Legal Affairs.[27] Her writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, Mother Jones, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The New Republic, and other publications.[27]

Bazelon is also a senior research scholar in Law and Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School.[19] Bazelon is affiliated with the Law and Media Program of Yale Law School.[28]

Between 2012–14, Bazelon made eight appearances on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central to discuss Supreme Court and anti-bullying issues.[29]

Writing on legalization of prostitution

In 2016, Bazelon wrote an article in The New York Times on the legalization of prostitution, discussing the decriminalization of johns, pimps, and brothel owners as a means to protect sex workers.[30]

Writing on bullying

Bazelon wrote a series on bullying and cyberbullying for Slate, called "Bull-E".[31] She was nominated for the 2011 Michael Kelly Award[32] for her story "What Really Happened to Phoebe Prince?"[33] The three-part article is about the suicide of Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide in South Hadley, Massachusetts, in January 2010, and the decision by the local prosecutor to bring criminal charges against six teenagers in connection with this death. The Michael Kelly Award, sponsored by the Atlantic Media Co., "honors a writer or editor whose work exemplifies a quality that animated Michael Kelly's own career: the fearless pursuit and expression of truth."[34] Bazelon's series also sparked heated reaction[35] and a response from district attorney Elizabeth Scheibel,[36] who brought the charges against the six teenagers.

Bazelon authored a book about bullying and school climate published by Random House, titled Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy.[37][38] It received a front page The New York Times Book Review review, which called the book "intelligent" and "rigorous", and described the author as "nonjudgmental in a generous rather than simply neutral way," and "a compassionate champion for justice in the domain of childhood’s essential unfairness."[39] In The Wall Street Journal, Meghan Cox Gurdon called Sticks and Stones a "humane and closely reported exploration of the way that hurtful power relationships play out in the contemporary public-school setting".[40]

Writing on abortion

Bazelon has reported critically on the pro-life movement and opponents of legal abortion, including "pro-life feminists"[41] and proponents of the concept of post-abortion syndrome,[25] while being supportive of abortion providers[42] and pro-choice federal judges.[43] She has described crisis pregnancy centers as being "all about bait-and-switch" and "falsely maligning" the abortion procedure.[44][45] Bazelon has discussed her support for legal abortion on the Double X blog.[46]

Writing on criminal justice

In 2018 and 2019, Bazelon published a number of articles on criminal justice reform.[47][48] Her book Charged focuses on the role of prosecutors, the history of "tough on crime" politics in elections for that office, and the new generation of reformist prosecutors.[2]

Ruth Bader Ginsburg interview controversy

In July 2009, the New York Times Magazine published Bazelon's interview with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Discussing her view of Roe v. Wade in 1973, Ginsburg commented, "Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion."[49]

Bazelon did not ask any follow-up question to what some interpreted as Ginsburg endorsing a eugenics-based rationale for legalized abortion, i.e., as a remedy for "populations that we don't want to have too many of."[50] Bazelon was criticized by some conservative commentators for not doing so.[51][52] Bazelon responded to the criticism, stating that she is "imperfect" and did not ask a follow-up question because she believed that Ginsburg's use of "we" had referred to "some people at the time, not [Ginsburg] herself or a group that she feels a part of."[52]

The interview was cited in the United States House of Representatives' Committee Report in support of the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2012.[53]

Personal life

Bazelon lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband, Paul Sabin, a professor of history and American studies at Yale.[54][55] They are members of a Reform synagogue.[9]

Honors and awards

Bazelon was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019.[56]


  1. ^ Bazelon, Emily (2014). Sticks and stones : defeating the culture of bullying and rediscovering the power of character and empathy (Random House Trade paperback ed.). New York. ISBN 978-0-8129-8263-3. LCCN 2012022773. OCLC 855848064. OL 25355894M.
  2. ^ a b Bazelon, Emily. "Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration". Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration. Penguin Random House. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  3. ^ Pineda, Dorany (April 17, 2020). "2020 Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  4. ^ "American Bar Association names 2020 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts (press release, May 20, 2020)". American Bar Association. American Bar Association. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Winners and finalists of the 2020 Lukas Prize Project Awards announced". The Nieman Foundation. The President and Fellows of Harvard College. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  6. ^ Fowler, Ian. "2020 Bernstein Awards Finalist Spotlight: 'Charged' by Emily Bazelon". New York Public Library. The New York Public Library. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  7. ^ Bazelon, Emily (April 12, 2012). "What's Your Earliest Memory?". Slate. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  8. ^ Politico Staff (March 4, 2019). "BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Emily Bazelon, staff writer for the NYT Magazine, co-host of the 'Slate Political Gabfest' and Truman Capote fellow at Yale Law School". POLITICO. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  9. ^ a b c Wilensky, Sheila (September 12, 2013). "Social, legal facets of bullying topic for author, Yale law grad". Arizona Jewish Post. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  10. ^ "Germantown Friends: News » The Ninny State: The Danger of Overprotecting Your Kids from Technology". Retrieved May 20, 2017.[dead link]
  11. ^ Wartenberg, Steve (November 1, 1988). "Stenstrom wins PIAA District 1 championship". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  12. ^ Hill, Miriam (February 28, 2013). "Let's talk about bullies". Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  13. ^ Heller, Karen (April 11, 2012). "Classes in financial literacy open eyes, doors". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. A02. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  14. ^ "Lara Bazelon - Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Juvenile Justice Clinic and the Racial Justice Clinic". 2016-05-26. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  15. ^ D'Onofrio, Michael (May 4, 2018). "D.A. makes way for people to clear records". The Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  16. ^ "Emily Bazelon". Jewish Women's Archive.
  17. ^ In Brief Archived 2008-11-28 at the Wayback Machine, Summer 2003, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.
  18. ^ Bazelon, Emily (February 5, 2006). "Shopping With Betty". Slate. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c d "Emily Bazelon".
  20. ^ "OSI Awards More Than $1.5 Million Nationwide to Winners of 2004 Soros Justice Fellowships" (Press release). Open Society Foundations. 2004-01-19. Retrieved 2019-10-20.
  21. ^ "Dorot Fellows". Archived from the original on July 10, 2014. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  22. ^ New York Times Press Release (September 2, 2014). "Emily Bazelon joins New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  23. ^ The Big Kozinski, Legal Affairs, Emily Bazelon, February 2005. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  24. ^ Bazelon, Emily (March 27, 2006). "Invisible Men : Did Lindsey Graham and Jon Kyl mislead the Supreme Court?". Slate. Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  25. ^ a b Bazelon, Emily (January 21, 2007). "Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 24, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  26. ^ Gold, Hades. "N.Y. Times Magazine hires Emily Bazelon". POLITICO. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  27. ^ a b List of Slate contributors Archived June 20, 2011, at WebCite
  28. ^ "Spotlight on LAMP". Yale Law School. November 18, 2008. Archived from the original on January 25, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2009.
  29. ^ "Emily Bazelon: Reforming Health-Care Reform". The Colbert Report. Comedy Central. November 13, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  30. ^ Bazelon, Emily (May 5, 2016). "Should Prostitution Be a Crime?". The New York Times. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  31. ^ Bazelon, Emily (January 26, 2010). "Bull-E: The new world of online cruelty". Slate. Archived from the original on January 19, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  32. ^ Romenesko, Jim (April 7, 2011). "Michael Kelly Award finalists named". The Poynter Institute. Archived from the original on April 14, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  33. ^ Bazelon, Emily (July 20, 2010). "What Really Happened to Phoebe Prince?". Slate. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  34. ^ "The Michael Kelly Award". The Atlantic Media Co. Archived from the original on July 3, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  35. ^ Lohr, David (July 23, 2010). "Revelations Stir New Debate Over Phoebe Prince Suicide". AOL News. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  36. ^ Bazelon, Emily (July 22, 2010). "Blaming the Victim". Slate. Archived from the original on April 14, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  37. ^ Boog, Jason (November 10, 2010). "Emily Bazelon Lands Book Deal for Bullying Investigation". Media Bistro GalleyCat Blog. Archived from the original on 2010-11-14. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  38. ^ Schwartz, John (March 10, 2013). "Words That Hurt and Kill: Lessons for Society From Bullying and Its Psychic Toll". The New York Times. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  39. ^ Solomon, Andrew (February 28, 2013). "The Brutal Years". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  40. ^ Gurdon, Meghan Cox (2013-02-22). "The Cruelty of Youth". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  41. ^ "Suffragette City" Archived 2009-09-18 at the Wayback Machine, E. Bazelon, Mother Jones, Jan.-Feb. 2007.
  42. ^ Bazelon, Emily (July 14, 2010). "The New Abortion Providers". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  43. ^ Bazelon, Emily (April 13, 2010). "Defining Radical Down". Slate. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  44. ^ "Sign Them Up", E. Bazelon, Slate, Nov. 25, 2009.
  45. ^ "The Politics of Pregnancy Counseling", R. Douthat, New York Times Opinion blog, Dec. 3, 2009.
  46. ^ Bazelon, Emily (August 19, 2010). "The Feminist Establishment Rejects the Mama Grizzlies". Double X. Archived from the original on September 9, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  47. ^ Bazelon, Emily (September 26, 2018). "Will Florida's Ex-Felons Finally Regain the Right to Vote?". The New York Times Magazine. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  48. ^ Bazelon, Emily; Krinsky, Miriam (December 11, 2018). "There's a Wave of New Prosecutors. And They Mean Justice". The New York Times. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  49. ^ Bazelon, Emily. "The Place of Women on the Court". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  50. ^ Gerson, Michael (July 17, 2009). "Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Comments on Abortion in the New York Times". Washington Post. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  51. ^ Goldberg, Jonah (July 15, 2009). "Ruth Bader Ginsburg and a Question of Eugenics". Jewish World Review. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  52. ^ a b Henneberger, Melinda (July 17, 2009). "Why Emily Bazelon Didn't Follow Up on Ginsburg's Abortion Comment". Politics Daily. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2017.((cite news)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  53. ^ "H. Rept. 112-496 - PRENATAL NONDISCRIMINATION ACT (PRENDA) OF 2012". Retrieved 2020-03-04. \123\Emily Bazelon, The Place of Women on the Court, New York Times Magazine
  54. ^ Paul Sabin, Yale Department of History. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  55. ^ Keller, Emma G. (2013-05-06). "Emily Bazelon's fair-minded feminism: 'I don't think there's anything missing'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  56. ^ "2019 Fellows and International Honorary Members with their affiliations at the time of election". Archived from the original on 2020-03-02. Retrieved 2020-03-04.