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Marjorie Heins Bio
Marjorie Heins is a civil liberties lawyer, author, and teacher. Her most recent book is Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge, a chronicle of the history, law, and personal stories behind the struggle to recognize academic freedom as "a special concern of the First Amendment." Priests won the 2013 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award for book publishing.
Marjorie is the founding director of the Free Expression Policy Project (www.fepproject.org). From 1991-98, she directed the American Civil Liberties Union’s Arts Censorship Project, where she was co-counsel in several major First Amendment cases, including Reno v. ACLU (invalidating a law that criminalized “indecent” communications on the Internet). She has been a fellow at the NYU Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Center, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and the Open Society Institute. In 1991-92, she was chief of the Civil Rights Division at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.
Her previous book, Not in Front of the Children: "Indecency," Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth, won the American Library Association's Eli Oboler Award for Best Published Work on Intellectual Freedom in 2002.
She has taught as a visiting professor at Boston College Law School, Florida State University Law School, the University of California-San Diego, New York University, Tufts University, and the American University of Paris. At UC-San Diego, she created and taught courses in “Censorship, Culture and American Law” and “Political Repression and the Press: Red Scares in U.S. History and Law.” At NYU, she has taught “Censorship and American Culture”; at the American University of Paris in 2010, she taught "Free Expression and the Media: Policy and Law."
From 1989-91, she was editor-in-chief of the Massachusetts Law Review. Among her articles are “Pall of Orthodoxy: The Painful Persistence of Loyalty Oaths,” in the summer 2009 issue of Dissent and "'The Right to be Let Alone': Privacy and Anonymity in the U.S. Supreme Court," Revue Française des Etudes Américaines, 2010.
Not in Front of the Children: “Indecency,” Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth (Hill & Wang, 2001; second edition, Rutgers U. Press, 2007)
Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy: A Guide to America’s Censorship Wars (The New Press, 1993; second edition, 1998)
Cutting the Mustard: Affirmative Action and the Nature of Excellence (Faber & Faber, 1988)
Strictly Ghetto Property: The Story of Los Siete de la Raza (Ramparts Press, 1972).
Selected articles and book chapters:
“The Supreme Court and Political Speech in the 21st Century: The Implications of Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project,” 76 Albany Law Review 561 (2013).
“Academe’s Still Precarious Freedom, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 4, 2013.
An Old Story: The Corporate University, Dissent Blog, Nov. 14, 2012.
“Naming Names in New York City: Teachers, Ethics, and the Anti-Communist Purge,” Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Center Seminar, New York University, spring 2011.
“’The Right to Be Let Alone’: Privacy and Anonymity at the U.S. Supreme Court,” Revue Française des Etudes Américaines, No. 123 (2010).
“A Pall of Orthodoxy: The Painful Persistence of Loyalty Oaths,” Dissent, summer 2009.
“A Landmark Case Over the Censorship of Films,” in Censorship (K. Burns, ed.) (History of Issues Series, Thomson-Gale, 2007).
“What is the Fuss About Janet Jackson’s Breast?” in Quest: Reading the World and Arguing for Change (K. Stallings, ed.) (Prentice-Hall, 2007).
“Foreword: Reclaiming the First Amendment – Constitutional Theories of Media Reform,” 35 Hofstra Law Review 917 (2007)
“Sex and the Law: A Tale of Shifting Boundaries,” in Pornography: Film and Culture (P. Lehman, ed.) (Rutgers U. Press, 2006).
Internet Filters: A Public Policy Report (Brennan Center/Free Expression Policy Project, 2006).
“Media Effects” (adapted from Not in Front of the Children), in Censoring Culture (S. Mintcheva & R. Atkins, eds.) (The New Press, 2006).
Foreword to Lynn Sutton, Access Denied: How Internet Filters Impact Student Learning (Cambria, 2006).
“The ‘Miracle’ of Burstyn v. Wilson,” in Defending the First (J. Russomanno, ed.) (Laurence Erlbaum, 2005).
Will Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright Control (Brennan Center/Free Expression Policy Project, 2005).
“Do We Need Censorship to Protect Youth?” 2005 Michigan State Law Review 795.
“Will Fair Use Survive the Digital Age?” in Free Culture & the Digital Library (Emory University, 2005).
“On Protecting Children – From Censorship: A Reply to Amitai Etzioni,” 79 Chicago-Kent Law Review 229 (2004).
“Media Violence Fact Sheet,” in Contemporary Issues Companion: Censorship (K. Burns, ed.) (Thomson-Gale, 2004).
Free Expression in Arts Funding: A Public Policy Report (Free Expression Policy Project, 2003).
“The NEA, Arts Funding, and the Culture Wars,” in The New Gatekeepers: Emerging Challenges to Free Expression in the Arts (National Arts Journalism Program, Columbia University, 2003).
“The Progress of Science and Useful Arts”: Why Copyright Today Threatens Intellectual Freedom (Free Expression Policy Project, 2003).
Introduction and Brief of 33 Media Scholars in Interactive Digital Software Association v. St. Louis, 31 Hofstra Law Review 419 (2002).
Media Literacy: An Alternative to Censorship (co-author) (Free Expression Policy Project, 2002).
JD, Harvard Law School, 1978 (magna cum laude)
Awards and Fellowships
Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award in Book Publishing, for Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge, May 2013.
Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Center Fellowship, spring 2011, for work on Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge.
American Library Association Eli Oboler Award for Best Published Work in the Field of Intellectual Freedom, 2002, for Not in Front of the Children.
“Sexual Intelligence” Award, from Sexual Intelligence: the Electronic Newsletter of Sexuality and Popular Culture, 2002.
Open Society Institute Individual Project Fellowship, 1998–2000: for research and writing of Not in Front of the Children.
Luther McNair Award for Significant Contributions to Civil Liberties, Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, 1991.