First Amendment Studies

Press Freedom & Publication of Government Secrets

Presented by the BB&T Dialogue Series on Free Speech

A Panel Discussion

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

7-9 PM

Location: Peter T. Flawn Academic Center (FAC) 21 


Linda Greenhouse, Yale Law School & the New York Times
Jack Shafer, Reuters, formerly of Slate
Michael Kent Curtis, Wake Forest Law School

An Expert Panel on: 

  • Wikileaks
  • Transparency
  • A "Right to Know"
  • Protections for Journalists


Learn More About our Participants...

LINDA GREENHOUSE is the Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. She assumed this position in 2009 after a 40-year career at the New York Times, including 30 years covering the United States Supreme Court. At Yale, she teaches courses related to the Supreme Court.

Ms Greenhouse has received numerous journalism awards for her reporting, including a Pulitzer Prize. Recent publications include Becoming Justice Blackmun (2005) and Before Roe v. Wade: Voices That Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court’s Ruling (with Reva B. Siegel), 2010. A new book, The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction, will be published by Oxford University Press in early 2012. Ms Greenhouse is a member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers.

JACK SHAFER writes a column about the press and politics for Reuters, which he joined in September 2011. Previously, Mr. Shafer worked at Slate for 15 years, first as deputy editor and then as the site's “Press Box” columnist. Before Slate, Shafer spent 11 years editing two alternative weeklies: San Francisco Weekly and Washington City Paper, where he estimates that he re-wrote, massaged, or merely pressed the button on 500 features. His first grade teacher noted on his first report card that, while a good student, Jack loved to start fights on the playground and bring them back into the classroom. Shafer's first salaried job in journalism was at Inquiry magazine, where he was the managing editor.

MICHAEL KENT CURTIS is the Judge Donald Smith Professor of Constitutional and Public Law at Wake Forest University School of Law. He teaches constitutional law, legal and constitutional history, free speech, and rhetoric.  Professor Curtis is the author of No State Shall Abridge: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights and of Free Speech, The People’s Darling Privilege: Struggles for Freedom of Expression in American History.

No State Shall Abridge has been described as “one of the most important and most impressive works of constitutional scholarship of the late twentieth century” and named as one of the five law books that every law student should read.  Free Speech, The People’s Darling Privilegehas garnered similar accolades, and should be “required reading for lawyers and judges,” according to federal Judge Robert S. Lasnik. 

Professor Curtis is also the co-author of Constitutional Law in Context, a two volume constitutional law text and casebook that offers substantial historical context. 

panel with audience  

Free Speech... Let's Talk About It.

"To preserve the freedom of the human mind then and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will, and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement." Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Green Mumford (18 June 1799)