Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Institute at Yale Law School

Yale Law alumnus and legendary constitutional lawyer Floyd Abrams has given his alma mater $3,000,000 to found an institute to promote free speech, free press, and access to information. The Yale Daily News article quotes Abrams on the reason for his gift:

'We live in a time of acute polarization of views in our nation ... It is of critical import that no voice be stilled and that government play virtually no role in determining who speaks and to what extent. The First Amendment makes us the envy of the world and it is worth learning and relearning why that is so.'

The Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression will be overseen by the Law School's Information Society Project, which is led by Professor Jack Balkin. According to Balkin, the main beneficiary of Abrams's largesse will be the Media Freedom and Information Access clinic, a Yale initiative that assists journalists with "freedom of information and open access issues." Some of the donation will ge used to hire a permanent faculty member to lead the MFIA, as it is known, allowing it to "take on more cases and broaden its legal scope."

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