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Constitutional Law Speaker Series



Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

“Tort Law vs. Privacy”


Thursday February 20, 3:00 pm
Penn Law Faculty Lounge, Silverman 144

Tort law is often seen as a tool for protecting privacy. But tort law can also diminish privacy, by pressuring defendants to disclose sensitive information, to gather such information, and to install comprehensive surveillance. And such pressure is growing, as technology makes surveillance and other information gathering more cost effective and thus more likely to be seen as part of defendants’ obligation of “reasonable care.”

Moreover, these tort law rules can increase government surveillance power as well as demanding greater surveillance by private entities. Among other things, the NSA PRISM story shows how easily a surveillance database in private hands can become a surveillance database in government hands.

This article aims to provide a legal map of this area, and to discuss which legal institutions - juries, judges, or legislatures - should resolve the privacy vs. safety questions that routinely arise within tort law.

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, tort law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, and a First Amendment amicus brief clinic at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy. Before coming to UCLA, he clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and for Judge Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


Erin Delaney, Assistant Professor of Law, Northwestern Law

“Avoiding Adjudication”


Thursday, February 27, 2014, 12:00 PM
Penn Law Faculty Lounge, Silverman 144

Erin F. Delaney joined the Northwestern faculty in 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Law. She holds a courtesy appointment in political science at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Professor Delaney’s teaching and research focus on constitutional design, U.S. constitutional law, and comparative constitutional law, with particular attention to the role of courts in multi-level governance systems.


Michael Greve, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 12:00 PM
Faculty Lounge

Professor of Law Michael S. Greve joined the George Mason law school faculty in fall 2012 after having served as John G. Searle Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he specialized in constitutional law, courts, and business regulation and served as chairman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Prior to joining AEI, Greve was founder and co-director of the Center for Individual Rights, a public interest law firm specializing in constitutional litigation.