The Right to Privacy
Warren and Brandeis's "The Right to Privacy," with 2010 Foreword by Steven Alan Childress, J.D., Ph.D., a law professor at Tulane. Includes photos and rare news clippings. Part of the Legal Legends Series by Quid Pro Law. The most influential piece of legal scholarship, many scholars say, is this 1890 Harvard Law Review article by two Boston lawyers (one of whom later became a legendary Supreme Court Justice). Warren and Brandeis created -- by cleverly weaving strands of precedent, policy, and logic -- the legal concept of privacy and the power of legal protection for that right. Their clear and effective prose stands the test of time, and influenced such modern notions as "inviolate personality" and law's "elasticity." They saw the threat of new technology. Most of all, they asserted the fundamental "right to be let alone," and its implications to modern law are profound. Their privacy concept has grown into raising issues about abortion, drug testing, surveillance, sexual orientation, free speech, the "right to die," and medical confidentiality. All these spinoffs trace their origins to this master work. It is simply one of the most significant parts of the modern canon of law, politics, and sociology. The extensive Foreword by Prof. Childress shares not only this import and effect, but also the fascinating backstory behind the article. Its origins are found in Warren's own prickly experiences with the press, famously after its reports on his family weddings.
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