Jack M. Balkin

Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment


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.

FULL BIOGRAPHY

Contact Information


Yale Law School

P.O. Box 208215

New Haven, CT 06520

Education & Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. (Philosophy), Cambridge, 1995

J.D., Harvard, 1981

A.B., Harvard, 1978

Courses Taught


  • Constitutional Law
  • First Amendment
  • Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and the Law
  • Technology Law
  • Media Law
  • Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic

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 the author of over a hundred articles in different fields, including constitutional theory, Internet law, freedom of speech, reproductive rights, jurisprudence, and the theory of ideology. He founded and edits the group blog Balkinization, and has written widely on legal issues for such publications as the New York Times, the New England Journal of Medicine, the American Prospect, the Atlantic OnlineWashington Monthly, the New Republic Online, and Slate. His books include Living Originalism; Constitutional Redemption: Political Faith in an Unjust WorldThe Constitution in 2020 (with Reva Siegel); Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (5th ed. with Brest, Levinson, Amar, and Siegel); Cultural Software: A Theory of Ideology; The Laws of Change: I Ching and the Philosophy of Life; What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said; and What Roe v. Wade Should Have Said.

Professor Balkin 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. 

Friday, February 19, 2016


Conference to Be Held on Obergefell Decision

At an event titled “What Obergefell v. Hodges Should Have Said,” preeminent law scholars will rewrite the Supreme Court landmark opinion upholding the right of same-sex couples to marry. The conference will take place on April 15, 2016, at 1:15 p.m. in Room 127.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Transparency, Surveillance, and the Future of First Amendment Law

In a post-Snowden era, while legal scholars and advocates re-examine government transparency and secrecy, the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale Law School is working to protect the First Amendment rights of citizens and news media across the country.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Yale Law School to Hold Conference on First Amendment in the Shadow of Public Health

The Public Health in the Shadow of the First Amendment Conference will take place at Yale Law School on October 17 and 18.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein to Speak on NSA Surveillance on Feb. 20

Cass Sunstein, the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School, will speak at Yale Law School on Thursday, February 20, about the report on NSA surveillance delivered by the President’s Review Group. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Faculty Commentary: Yale Law Professors Weigh in on Syria Debate

With a fervent debate raging over what actions should be taken against the Syrian government in the wake of a suspected chemical attack that killed more than 1,000 Syrians— including hundreds of children — Yale Law faculty offer their opinions and insights on a range of issues impacting the conversation. Below is a sampling of the most recent commentaries and interviews.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Reaction: Supreme Court Rules on Health Care Law

Yale Law School faculty members and lecturers comment on the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on the health care law.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Conference on Jack Balkin’s Living Originalism Will Look at Constitutional Interpretation

“Constitutional Interpretation and Change: A Conference on Jack Balkin’s Living Originalism” will be held on April 27-28, 2012, at Yale Law School.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Yale ISP To Host A2K4 Conference on Access to Knowledge and Human Rights February 11-13

The Information Society Project at Yale Law School will host its fourth Access to Knowledge Conference February 11-13 at Yale Law School.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


China Law Center Co-Hosts Anti-Discrimination Workshop in Chengdu

Yale Law School's Jack Balkin (behind left), Paul Gewirtz '70 (left), and Reva Siegel ’86 (right) attended. 

Friday, February 1, 2008


Professor Jack Balkin Discusses Workshop on Anti-Discrimination Law in China

On January 19 and 20, the China Law Center co-hosted a workshop on anti-discrimination law at Sichuan University Law School.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Balkinization Blog Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Professor Jack Balkin’s Balkinization blog celebrated its fifth anniversary on January 13, 2008.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


A2K Initiative Explores Access to Knowledge

In classrooms and offices at Yale Law School, a coterie of students, faculty, and fellows have been avidly discussing the concept of "access to knowledge." The Information Society Project has launched a broad initiative on the subject--the A2K Initiative--including a seminar, a reading group, and an upcoming conference. "It's been a very intense semester so far," says David Tannenbaum '07, one of the participants in those discussions.