Mitchell Lecture Series

Spring 2018 Mitchell Lecture

Lecture

The First Amendment in the Second Gilded Age
Many of the most important free speech controversies in recent years have been shaped by the economic and technological changes of the Second Gilded Age — an era of increasing economic inequality and vast fortunes brought about by economic deregulation, globalization, and digital technologies. This lecture, featuring Jack M. Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School, will address how changes in technology and political economy have shaped debates about the free speech principle, and why we must rethink the purposes of free speech in the Second Gilded Age.

Balkin

Jack M. Balkin is Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School. He is the founder and director of Yale’s Information Society Project, an interdisciplinary center that studies law and new information technologies. He also directs the Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression, and the Knight Law and Media Program at Yale.

Professor Balkin is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a frequent author of articles on constitutional theory, Internet law, freedom of speech, reproductive rights, jurisprudence, and the theory of ideology.

He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Cambridge University, and his A.B. and J.D. degrees from Harvard University. He served as a clerk for Judge Carolyn D. King of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and practiced as an attorney at Cravath, Swaine, and Moore in New York City before entering the legal academy. He has been a member of the law faculties at the University of Texas and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a visiting professor at Harvard University, New York University, the Buchman Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University, and the University of London.

The Mitchell Lecture Series was endowed in 1950 by a gift from Lavinia A. Mitchell, in memory of her husband, James McCormick Mitchell. An 1897 graduate of the Buffalo Law School, Mitchell later served as chairman of the Council of the University of Buffalo, which was then a private university.

Justice Robert H. Jackson delivered the first Mitchell Lecture in 1951, titled "Wartime Security and Liberty Under Law." The lecture was published that year in the first issue of the Buffalo Law Review.

These have included C. Edwin Baker, Derrick Bell, Barry Cushman, Carol Gilligan, Elizabeth Holtzman, Irene Zubaida Khan, Stewart Macaulay, Catharine MacKinnon, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, John Payton, Richard Posner, Hon. James Robertson and Clyde Summers among others.