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June 6, 2012

Orin Kerr Named Scholar in Residence at Law Library of Congress

Distinguished law professor Orin S. Kerr has been selected as the first scholar in residence for the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation Program on Demography, Technology and Criminal Justice at the Library of Congress. The Law Library has primary oversight of the program, which also extends to the Manuscript Division.

During the two-year program, Kerr will use the Library’s collections to conduct research on the topic area, "Information Technology vs. Privacy—The Impact on Criminal Justice." He will prepare, present and publish his research and convene and facilitate virtual conversations about the research among multidisciplinary international subject-matter experts. He will also provide a forum for debating the privacy rules that should apply in modern criminal investigations with changing technologies.

"I will focus my attention on developing and publicizing simple frameworks for understanding the basic choices that legislators and investigators face in regulating privacy in new technologies," said Kerr, upon accepting the appointment.

A tenured law professor at the George Washington University Law School, Kerr earned a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, a master’s degree from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. His academic research in the area of how new technologies change criminal law and criminal investigations has been cited in over 70 judicial decisions, including in the U.S. Supreme Court’s January 2012 decision in United States v. Jones on the constitutionality of Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring.

Kerr’s articles have been published in many leading law reviews, including the Harvard Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. Widely quoted in the media as an expert in the law of privacy and criminal investigations, Kerr’s work has been profiled in The New York Times and on National Public Radio’s "All Things Considered." He blogs regularly about developments in privacy law and criminal law and continues to occasionally litigate cases in the area of police investigations. Last year, he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the search and seizure case of Davis v. United States. He has also testified before both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on subjects such as the Patriot Act and updating the electronic surveillance laws.

The appointment was made possible through the generous support of the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation, which awarded a $150,000 grant in September to the Library of Congress to support a program on demography, technology and criminal justice. The Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation has had a long-term commitment to support innovation in criminal justice. A number of Guggenheim projects have led to significant legislative and judicial reforms in this area. Throughout its history, the Library of Congress has maintained comprehensive, and often unique, collections that have directly supported ground-breaking research in myriad disciplines, including many of those that comprise the field of criminal justice. This collaboration brings together the shared interests of these two major national institutions.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at

Founded in 1832, the Law Library’s mission is to make its resources available to members of Congress, the Supreme Court, other branches of the U.S. government and the global legal community, and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of law for future generations. With more than 2.6 million volumes, the Law Library contains the world’s largest collection of law books and other resources from all countries and provides online databases and guides to legal information worldwide through its website at

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PR 12-119
ISSN 0731-3527

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