Jack M. Balkin


Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment

Director, The Information Society Project at Yale Law School


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Living Originalism








Constitutional Redemption








The Constitution in 2020






Cybercrime: Digital Cops in a Networked Environment




The State of Play




What Roe v. Wade Should Have Said




The Laws of Change



What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said


Legal Canons

Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking

Cultural Software



    How Social Movements Change (Or Fail To Change) the Constitution: The Case of the New Departure, 39 Suffolk L. Rev. 27 (2005) [SSRN pdf Suffolk L. Rev. pdf]

    "Wrong the Day It Was Decided:" Lochner and Constitutional Historicism, 85 B.U. L. Rev. 677 (2005) [SSRN abstract pdf B.U. L. Rev. pdf]

    Plessy, Brown, and Grutter: A Play in Three Acts, 26 Cardozo L. Rev. 1689 (2005) [SSRN abstract pdf]

    Deconstruction's Legal Career, 27 Cardozo L. Rev. 719 (2005) [SSRN abstract pdf Cardozo L. Rev. pdf]

    Roe v. Wade: An Engine of Controversy, in Jack M. Balkin, ed. What Roe v. Wade Should Have Said: The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Most Controversial Decision 3-27 (New York University Press 2005).

    Judgment of the Court and Comment in Jack M. Balkin, ed. What Roe v. Wade Should Have Said: The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Most Controversial Decision 31-62, 232-36 (New York University Press 2005).

    Virtual Liberty: Freedom to Design and Freedom to Play in Virtual Worlds, 90 Va. L. Rev. 2043 (2004). [SSRN abstract pdf Va. L. Rev. abstract pdf]

    What Brown Teaches Us About Constitutional Theory, 90 Va. L. Rev. 1537 (2004). [SSRN abstract pdf Va. L. Rev. abstract pdf]

    Digital Speech and Democratic Culture: A Theory of Freedom of Expression for the Information Society, 79 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1 (2004). [SSRN abstract pdf NYU L. Rev. pdf]

    Respect Worthy: Frank Michelman and the Legitimate Constitution, 39 Tulsa L. Rev. 485 (2004). [SSRN abstract pdf]

    How Rights Change: Freedom of Speech in the Digital Era, 26 Sydney Law Rev. 5 (2004). [abstract pdf]

    What are the Facts of Marbury v. Madison?, 20 Const. Comm. 255 (2003)(with Sanford Levinson). [pdf]

    Idolatry and Faith: The Jurisprudence of Sanford Levinson, 38 Tulsa L. Rev. 553 (2003). [SSRN abstract pdf]

    The Proliferation of Legal Truth, 26 Harv. J. Law & Pub. Pol'y 5 (2003). [SSRN abstract pdf]

    The American Civil Rights Tradition: Anticlassification or Antisubordination?, 58 U. Miami L. Rev. 9 (2003)(with Reva Siegel). [abstract pdf]. Earlier version published in Issues in Legal Scholarship, The Origins and Fate of Antisubordination Theory (2003): Article 11, http://www.bepress.com/ils/iss2/art11. [abstract pdf]

    Legitimacy and the 2000 Election, in Bush v. Gore: The Question of Legitimacy 210-228 (Bruce Ackerman, ed., Yale University Press)(2002). [abstract pdf]

    Would African Americans Have Been Better Off Without Brown v. Board of Education?, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 35:102-06 (Spring 2002). [pdf]

    The Use that the Future Makes of the Past: John Marshall's Greatness and its Lessons for Today's Supreme Court Justices, 43 William and Mary L. Rev. 1321 (2002) [abstract pdf]

    Understanding the Constitutional Revolution, 87 Va. L. Rev. 1045 (2001)(with Sanford Levinson) [abstract pdf]

    Legal Historicism and Legal Academics: The Roles of Law Professors in the Wake of Bush v. Gore, 90 Geo. L. J. 173 (2001)(with Sanford Levinson) [abstract pdf]

    Bush v. Gore and the Boundary Between Law and Politics, 110 Yale L. J. 1407 (2001). [abstract pdf]

    Brown v. Board of Education: A Critical Introduction, in Jack M. Balkin, ed. What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said: The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Landmark Civil Rights Decision 3-74 (New York University Press 2001).

    Judgment of the Court and Comment, in Jack M. Balkin, ed. What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said: The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Landmark Civil Rights Decision 77-91, 203-205 (New York University Press 2001).

    Filtering the Internet: A Best Practices Model, in Protecting Our Children on the Internet: Towards a New Culture of Responsibility, (Jens Waltermann and Marcel Machill, eds., Bertelsmann Foundation Publishers)(2000)(with Beth Simone Noveck and Kermit Roosevelt). [abstract exec summary rtf pdf]

    Legal Canons: An Introduction, in J.M. Balkin and Sanford Levinson, eds. Legal Canons 3-44 (New York University Press 2000)(with Sanford Levinson).

    Constitutional Canons and Constitutional Thought, in J.M. Balkin and Sanford Levinson, eds. Legal Canons 400-433 (New York University Press 2000)(with Sanford Levinson).

    Interpreting Law and Music: Performance Notes on "The Banjo Serenader" and "The Lying Crowd of Jews," 20 Cardozo L. Rev. 1513 (1999)(with Sanford Levinson). [abstract pdf rtf]

    Free Speech and Hostile Environments, 99 Colum. L. Rev. 2295 (1999). (Another version published in Directions in Sexual Harassment Law, (Catharine A. MacKinnon and Reva B. Siegel eds., Yale University Press 2003). [abstract html pdf]

    Getting Serious About "Taking Legal Reasoning Seriously," 74 Chicago-Kent L. Rev. 543 (1999)(with Sanford Levinson). [abstract pdf]

    The Declaration and the Promise of a Democratic Culture, 4 Widener Law Symposium Journal 167 (1999). [abstract html]

    How Mass Media Simulate Political Transparency, Cultural Values Vol. 3 No. 4: 393-413 (1999). [abstract html]

    Law as Performance, in Law and Literature 729-751 (Michael Freeman and Andrew D. E. Lewis, eds, Oxford University Press 1999)(with Sanford Levinson). [abstract html]

    The Canons of Constitutional Law, 111 Harv. L. Rev. 963 (1998)(with Sanford Levinson). [abstract pdf]

     The "Bad Man," the Good, and the Self-Reliant, 78 B.U. L. Rev. 885 (1998)(with Sanford Levinson). [abstract pdf]

    The Meaning of Constitutional Tragedy, in Constitutional Stupidities/Constitutional Tragedies 121-128 (William N. Eskridge and Sanford Levinson, eds., NYU Press 1998). [abstract html]

    The Constitution of Status,106 Yale L. J. 2313 (1997). [abstract html1 html2 html3 html4]

    Agreements with Hell and Other Objects of Our Faith, 65 Fordham L. Rev. 1703 (1997). [abstract html1 html2]

    Media Filters, The V-Chip and the Foundations of Broadcast Regulation, 45 Duke L. J. 1133 (1996). [abstract html1 html2 html3 pdf]

    Entitlements as Auctions: Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Beyond, 106 Yale L. J. 703, (1996)(with Ian Ayres).

    A Night in the Topics: The Reason of Legal Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of Legal Reason, in Law's Stories: Narrative and Rhetoric in the Law 211-224 (P. Brooks and P. Gewirth, eds., Yale Univ. Press 1996). [abstract html]

    Deconstruction, in A Companion to the Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, (D. Patterson, ed., Basil Blackwell 1996). [abstract pdf]

    Interdisciplinarity as Colonization, 53 Washington and Lee L. Rev. 949 (1996). [abstract html]

    How to Win Cites and Influence People, 71 Chicago-Kent L. Rev. 843 (1996)(with Sanford Levinson). [abstract pdf]

    Taking Text and Structure Really Seriously: Constitutional Interpretation and the Crisis of Presidential Elligibilty, 74 Tex. L. Rev.237 (1995)(with Jordan Steiker and Sanford Levinson). [abstract pdf]

    Populism and Progressivism as Constitutional Categories, 104 Yale L. Rev. 1935 (1995). [abstract html1 html2 html3]

    Ideology as Cultural Software, 16 Cardozo L. Rev. 1221 (1995).

    Constitutional Grammar, 72 Tex. L. Rev. 1771 (1994)(with Sanford Levinson). [abstract pdf]

    Being Just With Deconstruction, 3 Social and Legal Studies 393 (1994). [abstract html]

    Transcendental Deconstruction, Transcendent Justice, 92 Mich. L. Rev. 1131 (1994). [abstract html1 html2 html3 pdf]

    Understanding Legal Understanding: The Legal Subject and the Problem of Legal Coherence, 103 Yale L. J. 105 (1993). [abstract pdf html1 html2 html3]

    Ideological Drift and the Struggle over Meaning, 25 Conn. L. Rev. 869 (1993). [abstract html]

    The American System of Censorship and Free Expression, in Patterns of Censorship Around the World 155-72 (I. Peleg, ed., Westview Press, 1993).

    What is a Postmodern Constitutionalism?, 90 Mich. L. Rev. 1966 (1992). [abstract pdf]

    (A) Just Rhetoric?, 55 Mod. L. Rev. 746 (1992).

    Ideology as Constraint, 43 Stan. L. Rev. 1133 (1991). [abstract pdf]

    The Promise of Legal Semiotics, 69 Tex. L. Rev. 1831 (1991). [abstract pdf]

    Law, Music, and Other Performing Arts, 139 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1597 (1991)(with Sanford Levinson). [abstract html1 html2 html3 html4 pdf]

    Ideological Drift, in Action and Agency (1991)(R. Kevelson, ed.).

    Some Realism about Pluralism: Legal Realist Approaches to the First Amendment, 1990 Duke L. J. 375. [abstract html1 html2 pdf]

    Nested Oppositions, 99 Yale L. J. 1669 (1990). [abstract pdf]

    The Rhetoric of Responsibility, 76 Va. L. Rev. 197 (1990).

    Tradition, Betrayal, and the Politics of Deconstruction, 11 Cardozo L. Rev. 1623 (1990). [abstract html1 html2 pdf]

    The Hohfeldian Approach to Law and Semiotics, 44 U. of Miami L. Rev. 1117 (1990); earlier version published as The Hohfeldian Approach to Legal Semiotics, 3 Law and Semiotics 31 (1989). [abstract pdf]

    Turandot's Victory, 2 Yale J. of Law and the Humanities 299 (1990).

    The Domestication of Law and Literature, 14 Law and Social Inquiry 787 (1989).

    The Footnote, 83 Nw. U. L. Rev. 275 (1989). [abstract html1 html2 html3]

    The Rule of Law as a Source of Constitutional Change, 6 Const. Comm. 21 (1989).

    Constitutional Interpretation and the Problem of History, 63 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 911 (1988). [abstract pdf]

    Too Good To Be True: The Positive Economic Theory of Law, 87 Colum. L. Rev. 1447 (1987).

    Deconstructive Practice and Legal Theory, 96 Yale L. J. 743 (1987). [abstract html1 html2 html3 pdf]

    Federalism and the Conservative Ideology, 19 The Urban Lawyer 459 (1987).

    Taking Ideology Seriously: Ronald Dworkin and the CLS Critique, 55 U.M.K.C. L. Rev. 392 (1987).

    The Crystalline Structure of Legal Thought, 39 Rutgers L. Rev. 1 (1986). [abstract pdf]

    Learning Nothing and Forgetting Nothing: Richard Epstein and the Takings Clause, 18 The Urban Lawyer 707 (1986).

    Ideology and Counter-Ideology from Lochner to Garcia, 54 UMKC L. Rev. 175 (1985).

Online Publications

Op-eds, Speeches and Other Writings

    A Body of Inquiries, New York Times, January 10, 2009 [html] [html]

    Appointing Advisers No Fast Task, Atlanta Journal Constitution, November 26, 2008 [html]

    Obama and the Imperial Presidency, Guardian Online, November 12, 2008 [html]

    What We Hold in Common, Keynote Address, Third Annual Conference on Access to Knowledge, September 8, 2008 [html]

    With Boumediene, the Court Reaffirmed a Basic Principle, U.S. News and World Report, June 23, 2008 [html]

    Questions of Justice, New York Times, October 17, 2007 [html]

    Should Liberals Stop Defending Roe?, Legal Affairs, November 28th, 2005 (with Sanford Levinson) [html]

    Alive and Kicking: Why No One Truly Believes in a Dead Constitution. Slate, August 29th, 2005. [html]

    A Nominee After Bush's Own Heart. First published in Newsday, July 21st, 2005. [html]

    Justice O'Connor's Final Defense. First published in the Hartford Courant, July 8th, 2005. [html]

    Bush and the Fear Factor. First published in the Hartford Courant, Sunday, November 7th, 2004. [html]

    No Blank Check for Bush. First published in the Hartford Courant, Sunday, May 16th, 2004. [html]

    The Passionate Intensity of the Confirmation Process, First Published in Jurist, Thursday, April 15th, 2004. [html]

    Don't Use Those Words: Fox News Owns Them. First published in the Los Angeles Times, Thursday, August 14, 2003 [html]

    A Great Gamble, By a Man Many Don't Trust, Hartford Courant, March 18, 2003. [html]

    A Dreadful Act II, Los Angeles Times, February 13, 2003. [html]

    A Ruling the G.O.P. Loves to Hate, New York Times, January 25, 2003. [html]

    Actions Speak Louder Than Apologies, Hartford Courant, December 17, 2002. [html]

    The Truth About Our Institutions, The Responsive Community, October 2002. [html]

    Is there a Slippery Slope from Single-Sex to Single-Race Education? The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Fall 2002. [html]

    The Most Dangerous Person on Earth, Hartford Courant, September 22, 2002. [html]

    In Giving Up Our Rights, We'd Lose the War, New Orleans Times-Picayune, September 11, 2002 [html]

    Who's Next?, Hartford Courant, June 20, 2002 [html]

    Diversity Offers Everyone a Stake, L.A. Times, May 17, 2002. [html]

    History Lesson, Legal Affairs 44-49 (July/August) 2002. [pdf]

    The Cloning Connundrum, New York Times, January 30, 2002. [html (NYT) html]

    Using Our Fears to Justify a Power Grab, L.A. Times, November 29, 2001. [html]

    Bush's Negative Mandate Narrows His Nominees, L.A. Times, January 12, 2001. [html]

    How Do We Measure The Will of the People?, L.A. Times, Monday, December 11, 2000. [html]

    The Supreme Court Compromises Its Legitimacy, Boston Globe, December 12, 2000. [html]

    Eyes, Robots (review of Ken Goldberg, ed, The Robot in the Garden: Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet, New Republic Online, August 28, 2000. [html (Netmind) html (New Republic Online)]

    The Court Defers to a Racist Era, New York Times, May 17, 2000. [html]

    An Implosion of Democracy, Boston Globe, January 17, 1999, at C07. [html]

    Senate: Return Impeachment Articles to Sender, Los Angeles Times, January 6, 1999. [html]

    Book Review of Richard Taruskin, Text and Act: Essays on Music in Performance, Notes 53 (December 1996): 419-23 (with Sanford Levinson).

    Book Review of J.H. Schlegel, American Legal Realism and Empirical Social Science, Law and History Review, 1996. [html]

    Give Us Liberty to Give Them Death?, The Washington Monthly 24-25 (October 1995).

    The Constitution as a Box of Chocolates, 12 Const. Comm. 147 (1995). [abstract html]

    Book Review of Walker, Hate Speech: The History of an American Controversy, Journal of American History, Oct. 1994. [html]

    Book Review of Walker, In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU, Public Law, Spring 1992, at 176-77.

    Book Note of Arkes, Beyond the Constitution, 102 Ethics 428 (1992).

    Book Review of Shiffrin, The First Amendment, Democracy, and Romance (1991), Journal of American History, Sept. 1991, at 628.

    The Top Ten Reasons to be a Legal Pragmatist, 8 Const. Comm. 351 (1991). [abstract html]


Courses Taught:

updated February 12, 2009

Copyright 1996-2009 by Jack M. Balkin. All rights reserved.