“First Amendment is an Information Policy” Topic of Hugo Black Lecture with Jack Balkin

Jack M. Balkin was the 20th Annual Hugo L. Black Lecturer. (Photo by Emily Brackman '11)

The Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School, Jack M. Balkin, spoke on “The First Amendment is an Information Policy,” during the 20th Annual Hugo L. Black Lecture on Freedom of Expression.

Professor Balkin received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Cambridge University, and his A.B. and J.D. degrees from Harvard University. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and writes political and legal commentary at the weblog Balkinization. Professor Balkin is the founder and director of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, an interdisciplinary center that studies law and the new information technologies, as well as the director of Yale’s Knight Law and Media Program.

His books include Cultural Software: A Theory of Ideology; The Constitution in 2020 (with Reva Siegel); Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (5th ed., with Brest, Levinson, Amar and Siegel); What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said; and What Roe v. Wade Should Have Said. His latest book, to be published in May 2011, is Constitutional Redemption: Political Faith in an Unjust World.

The Hugo L. Black Lecture on Freedom of Expression was inaugurated in 1991-92 and named in honor of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice. The annual event is endowed by a gift from Leonard S. Halpert ’44, Esq. Halpert provides a commentary on Balkin’s speech online here.

Past Hugo L. Black Lecturers include Anthony Lewis, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist at The New York Times; Nadine Strossen, president of the American Civil Liberties Union; Abner Mikva, former chief judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; Floyd Abrahms, the William J. Brennan Visiting Professor of First Amendment Law at Columbia University; Margaret Marshall, chief justice, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts; and Laurence H. Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University, among others.