3/23/2018: A First Amendment for All? Free Expression in an Age of Inequality

A growing chorus of judges, lawyers, and journalists have called attention to a “Lochnerian” turn in First Amendment doctrine, as the federal courts have increasingly invalidated or narrowed regulations of socio-economic power in the name of free speech or the free exercise of religion. While many legal scholars have offered criticisms of First Amendment Lochnerism — the use of the First Amendment to entrench social and economic hierarchy — there have been few efforts to describe or defend the alternative: a First Amendment that would advance, rather than obstruct or remain indifferent to, the pursuit of social and economic equality. There has likewise been very little commentary connecting First Amendment Lochnerism to broader changes in the institutional landscape of free expression, including the proliferation of private platforms that facilitate and filter public debate.

In response, the Columbia Law Review, the Knight First Amendment Institute, and the Center for Constitutional Governance are convening a day of debate, discussion, and reflection by leading legal scholars. In asking where the First Amendment goes from here, this symposium aims to break down barriers between different scholarly subfields — connecting high-level questions about the First Amendment’s meaning and function with emerging problems in areas such as Internet law, media law, labor law, antidiscrimination law, campaign finance law, and commercial speech. More fundamentally, it aims to move First Amendment theory and practice away from critiques of past judicial rulings and toward the more affirmative project of redesigning the law of free expression for a present and future of mounting economic inequality and authoritarian challenges to democratic norms. The conversation will center around seven original works of scholarship, to appear in the November 2018 issue of the Columbia Law Review, that take up this challenge, whether enthusiastically or critically.


Livestream >


Friday, March 23, 2018, 8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. (reception to follow)
Jerome Greene Hall Room 101
435 West 116th Street, New York, New York 10027

This symposium is free to all attendees. Registration is required.

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Symposium Schedule
Friday, March 23, 2018
Arrival & Breakfast

8:30–9:00 a.m., Jerome Greene Hall Lobby


Opening Remarks

9:00–9:20 a.m., Jerome Greene Hall Room 101

Lee C. Bollinger, President & Seth Low Professor of the University, Columbia University
David Pozen, Professor of Law, Columbia Law School


The Digital Infrastructure and Political Economy of Free Expression

9:20–10:35 a.m, Jerome Greene Hall Room 101

Authors
Jack M. Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, Yale Law School
Jedediah Purdy, Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law

Moderator
Jameel Jaffer, Executive Director, Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University

Panelists
Maggie McKinley, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Tim Wu, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School


Can the First Amendment Be Progressive?

10:40–11:55 p.m., Jerome Greene Hall Room 101

Authors
Leslie Kendrick, Vice Dean & Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
Louis Michael Seidman, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Moderator
Jamal Greene, Dwight Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Panelists
William Araiza, Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School
Caroline Mala Corbin, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law


Lunch

12:00–1:00 p.m., Jerome Green Hall, Drapkin Lounge


Equal Protection and the First Amendment

1:10–2:25 p.m., Jerome Greene Hall Room 101

Authors
Genevieve Lakier, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
Bertrall Ross, Chancellor’s Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law

Moderator
Vincent Blasi, Corliss Lamont Professor of Civil Liberties, Columbia Law School

Panelists
Cheryl I. Harris, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Professor in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, UCLA School of Law
Zephyr Teachout, Associate Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law


A Progressive Labor Vision of the First Amendment

2:30–3:45 p.m., Jerome Greene Hall Room 101

Author
Catherine Fisk, Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law

Moderator
Olatunde Johnson, Vice Dean & Jerome B. Sherman Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Panelists
K. Sabeel Rahman, Assistant Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School
Ganesh Sitaraman, Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School
Laura Weinrib, Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School


Reflections and Next Steps

3:50–4:55 p.m., Jerome Greene Hall Room 101

Moderator
Jeremy Kessler, Associate Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Panelists
Amy Kapczynski, Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Frank Pasquale, Professor of Law, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
Amanda Shanor, Staff Attorney, National Legal Department, American Civil Liberties Union
Nelson Tebbe, Professor of Law, Cornell Law School


Closing Remarks

5:00–5:15 p.m., Jerome Greene Hall Room 101

Tomi Williams, Editor-in-Chief, Columbia Law Review


Cocktail Reception

5:15 p.m., Jerome Green Hall, Drapkin Lounge