Philip Hamburger, Columbia Law School
Americans like to believe that prior licensing of speech and the press came to an end in the 17th century. This was the sort of censorship that the Inquisition imposed on Galileo, that the English abandoned in 1695, and that the First Amendment most clearly prohibited. Nonetheless, the federal government has revived the licensing of speech and the press. It does this by means of committees known as "Institutional Review Boards," and although it claims that it imposes the licensing to protect Americans, it thereby licenses much academic speech and publication. Professor Hamburger will discuss this reversion to 17th century censorship and its consequences for Americans.
Professor Hamburger is the Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. He is widely published in the area of constitutional law and its history.