Sunday, January 13, 2013

The 10th Anniversary of Balkinization


Today marks the 10th anniversary of Balkinization.

Although the blog officially started on January 10th, 2003, the first substantive posts, on the thirtieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, were written on January 13th.

It is therefore fitting that 10 years later, we're hosting a series of essays connected with an conference on sexual liberty and equality commemorating Roe's 40th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of Lawrence v. Texas.

In the fall of 2002, my center, the Yale Information Society Project, had hosted one of the first academic conferences on blogging, Revenge of the Blog, which featured, among others, Glenn Reynolds, Josh Marshall, Jeff Jarvis, and Mickey Kaus.

Balkinization began as a result of that conference, and especially as a result of a conversation a few months later with Glenn Reynolds, who had been blogging for awhile, and Eugene Volokh, who had just started his group blog that summer. The number of legal scholars in blogging was still very small: in addition to Glenn and Eugene, Larry Lessig and Larry Solum had also begun blogging in 2002.

Glenn, Eugene and I were sitting at a bar in the convention hotel where the American Association of Law Schools convention was meeting, talking about how blogs were likely to change the legal and political world. Glenn said "You should do this Jack, you'd be good at it."  Since Glenn knows a great deal about blogging, I took his advice.  My wife Margret Wolfe suggested the blog's name.

I was the blog's only writer until late June of 2004, and for that reason I signed my posts with my initials JB, a practice which I have continued to this day.

Writing a solo blog is hard work, as anyone who has done it knows, and it soon became clear that the blog would not continue without additional contributors. Cass Sunstein wrote the first guest post.  I invited several people to join me in July 2004, and by the end of the summer, Balkinization was established as a group blog.

Since then we've largely stuck to our mission: providing serious commentary on legal and political issues, especially those related to the Constitution.

I'd like to thank all of the contributors over the last ten years who have maintained the blog's high standards and scholarly approach, and all of the millions of readers who have visited us over the years.

Jack Balkin

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