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Oct. 26, 2021

Media Advisory: Constitutional Law Expert Jamal Greene to Kick Off College of Law Speaker Series, Discuss How Rights Go Wrong

  • What: Constitutional law expert, professor and author Jamal Greene will join former Tucson mayor and current University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law professor of practice Jonathan Rothschild for a discussion on how competing rights should be balanced through political compromise. Greene will be available for a limited number of scheduled one-on-one interviews with media before the session.
  • When: Greene will be available for brief one-on-one interviews from 9-11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28. Journalists who would like to schedule an interview must RSVP to Ali Bridges at by Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. The public talk will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28.
  • Where: The interviews and talk will be virtual. A limited number of slots are available on a first come, first-served basis. Register here.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Constitutional rights are a sacred part of the American identity. Yet, they are also a source of some of our greatest divisions.

Legal scholar Jamal Greene's new book, "How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsessions With Rights is Tearing America Apart," explores how the focus on rights became so divisive. Greene will kick off the James E Rogers College of Law's annual Pitt Family Foundation Speaker Series on Thursday, Oct. 28.

The free, online speaker series will take place monthly through March and will be moderated by former Tucson mayor and current UArizona Law professor of practice Jonathan Rothschild.

Greene will discuss with Rothschild how to rethink the relationship between constitutional law and political dysfunction and how to recover America's original vision of rights, while updating them to confront the challenges of the 21st century.

Greene has served as senior visiting scholar at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, where he commissioned and oversaw scholarly research relating to free speech and new communications platforms. He currently serves as co-chair of the Oversight Board, an independent body set up to review content moderation decisions on Facebook and Instagram.

The Pitt Family Foundation Speaker Series is part of the Participatory Democracy Initiative at the University of Arizona. The Participatory Democracy Initiative is an interdisciplinary and community-engaged program of the College of Law, the School of Government and Public Policy, and the School of Journalism.

The other four speakers for the series are:

  • Jill Lepore – Wednesday, Nov. 17, 5:30 p.m.
    Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History and affiliate professor of law at Harvard University. She is also a staff writer at The New Yorker and host of the podcast "The Last Archive." Her books include "These Truths: A History of the United States," an international bestseller that was named one of Time magazine's top 10 nonfiction books of the decade. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Magazine Award, and, twice, for the Pulitzer Prize.
    Register for Jill Lepore
  • Liliana Mason – Thursday, Jan. 27, 5:30 p.m.
    Lilliana Mason is assistant professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and author of "Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity." Her research on partisan identity, partisan bias, social sorting and American social polarization has been published in journals such as American Political Science Review and the American Journal of Political Science, and has been featured in media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and NPR.
    Register for Liliana Mason
  • Thomas Mann – Wednesday, Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.
    Thomas Mann is a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Mann has worked as a consultant to IBM and the Public Broadcasting Service, chaired the Board of Overseers of the National Election Studies, and served as an expert witness in the constitutional defense of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. Mann is co-author of "The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track," among several other bestselling works.
    Register for Thomas Mann
  • Jan-Werner Müller – Thursday, March 31, 5:30 p.m.
    Jan-Werner Müller is a professor of politics at Princeton University, where he also directs the Project in the History of Political Thought. His previous books include "What is Populism?" and "Contesting Democracy: Political Ideas in Twentieth-Century Europe." He writes for The Guardian, London Review of Books and The New York Review of Books. In his latest book, "Democracy Rules," Müller suggests that we need to re-invigorate the intermediary institutions that have been deemed essential for democracy's success ever since the 19th century: political parties and free media.
    Register for Jan-Werner Müller
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Media contact:
Ali Bridges
James E. Rogers College of Law

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 50 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2019 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $734 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 66 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university's COVID-19 webpage.

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