Noted constitutional scholar, blogger Jack Balkin to speak

Jack Balkin, creator of the well-known blog Balkinization (, will speak on “Fidelity and Flux: How We Build Our Constitution” at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall, on the Princeton University campus.

The lecture, to be deliverd as the Sixth Annual Donald S. Bernstein '75 Lecture, is free and open to the public and is sponsored by Princeton University's Program in Law and Public Affairs.

“When we interpret the U.S. Constitution, the opposition between originalism and living constitutionalism is a false dichotomy; understanding why the best versions of these positions are compatible helps us understand how legitimate constitutional change occurs over time,” said Balkin, the Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School. “Constitutional fidelity is grounded on faith: faith in the constitutional project, and faith that the constitutional system as a whole is worthy of our respect or will come to be so over time, even if important aspects today are imperfect and unjust. Interpretive fidelity requires faith in the redeemability of the Constitution over time.”

In addition to his work at the Yale law school, Balkin also is the founder and director of Yale's Information Society Project, an interdisciplinary center that studies law and new information technologies, as well as the director of the Knight Law and Media Program at Yale. His work covers several different fields, including constitutional theory, Internet law, freedom of speech, legal rhetoric, jurisprudence and the theory of ideology.

Balkin is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and writes political and legal commentary on his blog. He is also the author of several books, including “Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking,” “The Laws of Change: I Ching and the Philosophy of Life,” and his latest work, co-edited with Reva Siegel, titled “The Constitution in 2020.”

The Bernstein Lecture, started in 2005 through the support of class of 1975 graduate Donald S. Bernstein, brings a notable legal scholar to campus each year. Previous Bernstein lecturers have included Judge Richard Posner in 2005, Kenneth Roth in 2006, Robert C. Post in 2007, Cass R. Sunstein in 2008 and Israeli Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch in 2009.

The Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) explores the role of law in politics, society, the economy and culture in the United States and abroad. For more information about LAPA and the Bernstein lecture, see