Scalia Slams Fordham Law Professor For Privacy Invasion

225px-antonin_scalia_scotus_photo_portraitjoel-reidenbergAssociate Justice Antonin Scalia publicly lashed out at Fordham Law Professor Professor Joel Reidenberg who having his students compile a 15-page dossier on his private life. For civil libertarians, Scalia’s objections to a lack of privacy is analogous to Rep. Jane Harman’s outrage over being intercepted as part of the NSA warrantless program that she helped approve.

The controversy was triggered last January when Scalia spoke to the Institute of American and Talmudic Law’s midwinter conference on privacy issues. Scalia mocked privacy arguments, saying: “Every single datum about my life is private? That’s silly.”

It was so silly that Reidenberg decided to assign his students in his Information Privacy Law class to determine about much data they could find on Scalia in the public domain.
Reidenberg noted: “Justice Scalia said he doesn’t care what people find out about him on the Internet. So I challenged my class to compile a dossier on him.” It took only four months for the creation of a 15 page report filled with his home address, personal telephone number, favorite movies, favorite foods,his wife’s personal e-mail address, and “photos of his lovely grandchildren.”

Scalia went ballistic, stressing the difference between the question of legal protection and personal responsibility. He made the following statement:

I stand by my remark at the Institute of American and Talmudic Law conference that it is silly to think that every single datum about my life is private. I was referring, of course, to whether every single datum about my life deserves privacy protection in law.

It is not a rare phenomenon that what is legal may also be quite irresponsible. That appears in the First Amendment context all the time. What can be said often should not be said. Prof. Reidenberg’s exercise is an example of perfectly legal, abominably poor judgment. Since he was not teaching a course in judgment, I presume he felt no responsibility to display any.

Of course, Professor Reidenberg is not the only one accused of “perfectly legal, abominably poor judgment,” here.

For the latest on the story, click here.

53 thoughts on “Scalia Slams Fordham Law Professor For Privacy Invasion”

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  2. See Former Fed LEO,

    Given enough time and we attorneys that have half a brain can figure out things without being told.

    That’s what separates the A, B and C students. Well it was a slippery slope in Law School. I started out with a 3.5 for the first year and then I took it easy. I had not a life out side of law school. I was afraid of flunking out and then I realized that I could pass and still have fun except for 6 to 8 weeks during the year. I chose the path of least resistance to my basic nature.

    I look back at the McCombs School of Bidness and wonder how I even got in as well, but I passed. I did get an Accounting degree in 3 worked for 6 months and then went back to school for Marketing.

    I thank you for your chat, sir.

  3. AnonY,

    I retired from the Federal government, although not as an LEO; hence ‘Former’, and not retired LEO. I had eighteen and one-half years of duty as a Federal law enforcement officer.

  4. A.Y.,


    I confess to naked duck hunting with Scalia and Dick, while accidently shooting my friend in the face. Fortunately, she apologized to me, so everything’s fine now.

    That was too bad about Scalia being exposed because he does value the right to privacy for himself so highly. Oh Well. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. 🙂

    Back to the bunker for me. Have a good evening.

  5. Jill,

    Well, well, I am offended. I was just reading about Scalia and his desire to have his private life open to the public. So I figure you would as well.

  6. Jill,

    So what kind of “No Good” were you up to?

  7. A.Y.,

    Thank you for what you said. In an open, democratic society, difference of opinion is to be cherished not repressed. Vigorous debate is one ot the best qualities of this website. Anyone who understands the Constitution and respects what JT is trying to do here, values it.

    I do not read Patty posts but I get some idea of them from what others write. My philosophy is to ignore her type of personal and ignorant attacks. I just wasn’t posting because I was up to no good most of the day!

    Again thanks. I know you and I don’t agree on things but I’m glad you are posting here. I do agree with you about FFLEO!


  8. Former Fed LEO,

    It is good to recognize the new people and what they have to offer and contribute to this site.

    You are a person of integrity, how did you last as a LEO with the Feds? Oh, you never said you retired.

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