Jeffrey Rosen

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Jeffrey Rosen in February 2008

Jeffrey Rosen (born February 13, 1964)[1] is an American academic and commentator on legal affairs. Legal historian David Garrow has called him "the nation's most widely read and influential legal commentator".[2] Since 2013, he has served as the President and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.


Rosen is the son of Sidney and Estelle Rosen, both of whom are psychiatrists.[3] He has been married to Christine Rosen (formerly Stolba), a historian, since 2003. He graduated as valedictorian from the Dalton School (1982), summa cum laude from Harvard University in English Literature and Government (1986) and was a Marshall scholar at Balliol College, Oxford in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (1988), from which he received a second bachelor's degree. He also has a law degree from Yale Law School (1991), after which he served as law clerk to Chief Judge Abner Mikva.[4][3]

He is a professor of law at the Law School of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and has been the commentator on legal affairs for The New Republic since 1992. Rosen is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he speaks and writes about technology and the future of democracy.[5] He often appears as a guest on National Public Radio, and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine.[6]


Rosen has written frequently about the United States Supreme Court. He has interviewed Chief Justice John Roberts,[7] Justice John Paul Stevens,[8] and Justice Stephen Breyer.[9] Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg credited his early support for her Supreme Court candidacy as a factor in her nomination.[10] His essay about Sonia Sotomayor, then a potential Supreme Court nominee,[11] provoked controversy for its use of anonymous sources.[12][13] However, other media outlets, including the New York Times, had relied upon similar sources.[14][15] Rosen worked with Justice Elena Kagan for many years and is the brother-in-law of Justice Department attorney Neal Katyal.[16] In an opinion piece published after Kagan's nomination hearings and before the Senate's vote on her confirmation, Rosen encouraged Kagan to look to the late Justice Louis Brandeis as a model "to develop a positive vision of progressive jurisprudence in an age of economic crisis, financial power and technological change".[16]

Rosen's articles assessing the Supreme Court have been ideologically unpredictable. He strongly denounced Bush v. Gore,[17] but supported the nomination of Chief Justice Roberts, while opposing that of Justice Alito.[18] He supported Sotomayor's confirmation,[19] and has written opinion pieces for the New York Times Magazine about the Court's pro-business,[20] anti-regulatory agenda.[21]

Rosen also writes about the effects of technology on privacy and liberty, including articles about the Fourth Amendment implications of pre-flight screening by the TSA,[22] free speech on the Internet,[23] privacy in the Internet Age,[24] surveillance cameras in Britain,[25] data mining in Silicon Valley,[26] technology and the Constitution,[27] the effect of neuroscience on the law,[28] DNA databases and genetic surveillance,[29] and Google and the future of free speech.[30]

Published works[edit]

  • The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America, New York: Times Books, 2007. ISBN 0-8050-8182-8.
  • The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America, New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-19-517443-7.
  • The Naked Crowd: Reclaiming Security and Freedom in an Anxious Age. New York: Random House. 2004. ISBN 0-375-75985-9. 
  • The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America, New York: Random House, 2000. ISBN 0-679-44546-3.


  1. ^ Library of Congress authority record, LCCN n 99281873 (accessed April 30, 2014)
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "WEDDING/CELEBRATIONS; Christine Stolba, Jeffrey Rosen". New York Times. March 9, 2003. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  4. ^ Rosen CV
  5. ^ Jeffrey Rosen – Brookings Institution
  6. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey (March 11, 2007). "The Brain on the Stand". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  7. ^ Roberts's Rules – Magazine – The Atlantic
  8. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey (September 23, 2007). "The Dissenter". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  9. ^ – Justice Stephen Breyer: Democracy and the Court
  10. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey (October 5, 1997). "The New Look of Liberalism on the Court". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  11. ^ Jeffrey Rosen, "The Case Against Sotomayor: Indictments of Obama's front-runner to replace Souter", The New Republic, May 4, 2009, found at The New Republic website Accessed June 29, 2015.
  12. ^ 'Blog Entry' Sparks Furor Over Sotomayor : NPR
  13. ^ Jeffrey Rosen and TNR's response to critics – Glenn Greenwald –
  14. ^ Becker, Jo; Liptak, Adam (May 29, 2009). "Sotomayor's Blunt Style Raises Issue of Temperament". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  15. ^ Savage, Charlie (July 17, 2009). "A Nominee on Display, but Not Her Views". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b Rosen, Jeffrey (July 2, 2010). "Brandeis's Seat, Kagan's Responsibility". The New York Times. Retrieved July 3, 2010. 
  17. ^ Disgrace | The New Republic
  18. ^ How To Judge | The New Republic
  19. ^ Sotto Voce | The New Republic
  20. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey (March 16, 2008). "Supreme Court Inc". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  21. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey (April 17, 2005). "The Unregulated Offensive". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  22. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey (2010-11-28) The TSA is invasive, annoying – and unconstitutional, Washington Post
  23. ^ Helft, Miguel (2010-12-10) Facebook Wrestles With Free Speech and Civility, New York Times
  24. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey (April 30, 2000). "The Eroded Self". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  25. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey (October 7, 2001). "A Watchful State". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  26. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey (April 14, 2002). "Silicon Valley's Spy Game". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  27. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey (August 28, 2005). "Roberts v. the Future". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  28. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey (March 11, 2007). "The Brain on the Stand". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  29. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey (March 17, 2009). "Genetic Surveillance For All". Slate. Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  30. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey (November 30, 2008). "Google's Gatekeepers". New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 

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