May 1, 2009

Scalia an unreceptive school subject

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says a New York college professor should not have made him the focus of a student assignment on privacy.

Scalia criticized Fordham University law school Professor Joel Reidenberg for having groups of his students create dossiers on the Supreme Court justice filled with as much personal information they could find, ABC reported Friday.

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, Scalia said in response to the information privacy law course assignment. Since he was not teaching a course in judgment, I presume he felt no responsibility to display any.

Among the information gathered by Reidenberg's students was Scalia's home phone number, photos of his grandchildren and personal food preferences.

Reidenberg told ABC the information was never released to the public, adding he picked Scalia as the focus of the assignment since the Supreme Court justice said this year laws should not necessarily protect all personal information.