Dean of the University of Chicago Law School: 1987-1994

Scholarship

Geoffrey R. Stone is a leading expert on constitutional law and the first amendment, particularly free speech. He has published numerous books on constitutional law, including: National Security, Leaks and Freedom of the Press (2021); Democracy and Equality: The Enduring Constitutional Vision of the Warren Court (2019); The Free Speech Century (2018); Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion and Law from America’s Origins to the Twenty-First Century (2017); Speaking Out: Reflections of Law, Liberty and Justice (2010, 2016, 2018); The NSA Report (2014); Top Secret: When Our Government Keeps Us in the Dark (2007); War and Liberty: An American Dilemma (2007); Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime (2004); and Eternally Vigilant: Free Speech in the Modern Era (2002).

Since the mid-1980s, Stone has been the lead editor of two prominent casebooks, Constitutional Law (8th ed. 2018) and The First Amendment (6th ed. 2020). He has co-edited The Supreme Court Review since 1991 and served on the editorial advisory board of Political Science Quarterly since 2005. He is also the editor of Oxford University Press’s 25-volume series on constitutional law, Inalienable Rights, which has published works by such distinguished scholars as Richard Posner, Cass Sunstein, Laurence Tribe, Martha Nussbaum, Lee Bollinger, Nadine Strossen, Pam Karlan, Eric Posner, Erwin Chemerinsky and Michael McConnell, to name just a few.

Over the years, Stone has taught many courses, including Constitutional Law II: Freedom of Speech, Constitutional Law III: Equal Protection of the Laws, Elements of the Law, Evidence, Civil Procedure, Contracts, and Copyright and Trademarks. In addition, Stone has regularly taught his seminar on Constitutional Decisionmaking, an iconic course Stone designed himself, which has captivated UChicago Law students for decades. Taught since 1973 (with the exception of Stone’s years as university provost, 1993-2002), the course for second- and third-year students requires that they form five-person courts and author original decisions each week in response to cases Stone makes up, working only with the precedent they build in the course. By the end of the quarter, each court produces a body of jurisprudence that Stone binds for them. One alum, David Bradford, ’76, said the class was his favorite in law school and that Stone “had a great ability to get people to do their own thinking and to challenge themselves. He challenged people in a very positive way, and he got people to push themselves and the limits of their own capabilities.” ["Constitutional Decision Making: A Signature Chicago Law Experience," UChicago Law School News] Several alumni of the course have gone on to offer their own versions at law schools around the country.

Stone has written amicus briefs on constitutional issues for several Supreme Court cases, including Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), Whole Woman’s Heath v. Hellerstadt (2016), Lawrence v. Texas (2003), United States v. Windsor (2013), United States v. Stevens (2010), and Rasul v. Bush (2004). He was one of the attorneys who represented President Bill Clinton in the Supreme Court in Clinton v. Jones (1997).

President Obama appointed Stone to the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies in 2013. Convened that year in response to intelligence leaks, President Obama tasked the committee with evaluating the federal government’s intelligence surveillance programs. The group issued its report and recommendations, “Liberty and Security in a Changing World,” in December 2013.

In 2014, Stone chaired the faculty committee that prepared the University of Chicago’s Statement on Free Expression, one that has been adopted by more than 80 colleges and universities nationwide.

Follow

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Restrictions of Speech Because of Its Content: The Peculiar Case of Subject-Matter Restrictions, Geoffrey R. Stone, 1978

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Content-Neutral Restrictions, Geoffrey R. Stone, 1987

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Flag Burning and the Constitution, Geoffrey R. Stone, 1990

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Controversial Scholarship and Faculty Appointments: A Dean's View, Geoffrey R. Stone, 1991

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Imagining a Free Press, Geoffrey R. Stone, 1992

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Hate Speech and the U.S. Constitution, Geoffrey R. Stone, 1994

Media

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Stone Named Law School Dean, University of Chicago Magazine staff, 1987

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Geoffrey Stone; Ninth Dean of the Law School, Staff, 1987

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Dean's Page - Program in Law and Government, Geoffrey R. Stone, 1987

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Dean's Page - A University School of Law, Geoffrey R. Stone, 1991

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Law Professor Wins Nobel in Economics, Staff, 1991

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Dean's Page - Ronald's Nobel, Geoffrey R. Stone, 1992

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Dean's Page - Center for the Study of Constitutionalism in Eastern Europe, Geoffrey R. Stone, 1992

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Present at the Creation, Jaclyn H. Park, 1993

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Dean's Page - Closing Argument, Geoffrey R. Stone, 1993

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The Importance of Law School, Geoffrey R. Stone, 2011

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Constitutional Decisionmaking: A Signature Chicago Law Experience, Meredith Heagney, 2013