Scalia: Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

aka it’s not nearly as funny when you are the subject of the probe.
At a recent conference Justice Scalia said “”Every single datum about my life is private? That’s silly,”
Well, a professor at Fordham University decided to take Mr Scalia at his word, and had one of his classes collect a dossier on the Justice and this is what they found:

Professor Joel Reidenberg and his class now have a 15-page dossier on Scalia, including his home address, the value of his home, his home phone number, the movies he likes, his food preferences, his wife’s personal e-mail address, and “photos of his lovely grandchildren.”

So what we have here is yet another person discovering that while individual facts aren’t necessarily important, when you aggregate them together you have something quite valuable. Justice Scalia was understandably somewhat unamused

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.

Daniel Solove, over at Concurring Opions has provided more details and analysis as well as a follow up from Professor Reidenberg. Of note is the fact that this is a regular assignment in the professor’s class each year and the previous class had been told to use Dr. Reidenberg himself as the subject of the dossier.

3 thoughts on “Scalia: Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Comments are closed.