Randall P. Bezanson

Randall P. Bezanson

Position: 

Professor of Law
Vice President of University of Iowa

Biographical Information

Following his graduation from the Iowa Law School, Professor Bezanson served as a clerk to Judge Robb of the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and, during the 1972 term (1972-73), as a clerk to Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court. Following his clerkship with Justice Blackmun, Professor Bezanson joined the faculty of the Iowa Law School, where he remained until 1988, serving also as a Vice President of the University of Iowa from 1979-84. In 1988 Professor Bezanson moved to Virginia to become Dean of the Washington & Lee University School of Law. He served as Dean of W & L from 1988 to 1994, returning to the Iowa faculty in the fall of 1996.

Professor Bezanson's teaching centered on constitutional law, freedom of speech and press, and mass communication law, but he also taught in the fields of administrative law, law and medicine, law and journalism, and torts.

Professor Bezanson's scholarship spanned the fields of administrative law, constitutional law, first amendment theory, defamation and privacy law, law and medicine, and the history of freedom of the press. He has published in many law reviews and journals, including the California Law Review, the Illinois Law Journal, the Iowa Law Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, and the Virginia Law Review. In 1987 he published, with co-authors Gilbert Cranberg and John Soloski, Libel Law and the Press, Myth and Reality (Free Press, Macmillian), a book that has received wide attention and was given the National Distinguished Service Award for Research in Journalism in 1988 by the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi. His book Reforming Libel Law (Guilford Communication series, 1992), which Professor Bezanson co-edited with John Soloski, Director of the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is used in undergraduate and graduate journalism programs throughout the country. Professor Bezanson's book Taxes on Knowledge in America: Exactions on the Press from Colonial Times to the Present (1994, U. Penn. Press), explores the history of taxation of the press in England and America. His other books include: Speech Stories: How Free Can Speech Be?, published in 1998 by the New York University Press; Taking Stock: Journalism and the Publicly Traded Newspaper Company (2001), coauthored with Gil Cranberg and John Soloski of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and supported by the Open Society Institute of New York; How Free Can the Press Be? (2003); How Free Can Religion Be? (2006); and Art and Freedom of Speech (2009) by the University of Illinois Press.

Professor Bezanson has been a member of the American Law Institute (ex officio) and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and has drafted legislation on a broad range of topics, including civil commitment of the mentally ill, treatment of the terminally ill, surrogacy and assisted conception, and defamation and invasion of privacy. He was the Reporter and principal drafter of the Uniform Rights of the Terminally Ill Act (NCCUSL 1985, 1989), the Defamation ACT (NCCUSL 1993), the Uniform Correction or Clarification of Defamation Act (NCCUSL 1994), and Iowa's Civil Commitment Law (1975).

Publications

Books

Randall P. Bezanson, Too Much Free Speech? Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2012, 304 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, Art and Freedom of Speech. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2009, 312 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, How Free Can Religion Be? Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2006, 288 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, How Free Can the Press Be? Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2003, 258 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, Taking Stock: Journalism and the Publicly Traded Newspaper Company, with Gilbert Cranberg and John Soloski. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press, 2001, viii, 204 pages; previously published in a different form as The Business of News in the Publicly Traded Newspaper Company: Report of the Iowa Newspaper Research Project to the Open Society Institute, with Gilbert Cranberg and John Soloski. New York: Open Society Institute, 2000, 206 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, Taxes on Knowledge in America: Exactions on the Press from Colonial Times to the Present. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994, xi, 319 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, editor. Reforming Libel Law, with John Soloski. New York: Guilford Press, 1992, xiii, 380 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, Speech Stories: How Free Can Speech Be? New York: New York University Press, 1998, ix, 219 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, Libel Law and the Press: Myth and Reality, with Gilbert Cranberg and John Soloski. New York: Free Press, 1987, x, 309 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, Libel and the Press: Setting the Record Straight, with Gilbert Cranberg and John Soloski. Minneapolis: Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota, 1985, 36 pages.

Book Chapters

Randall P. Bezanson, “Good Old Number Three: Harry Blackmun and His Clerks,” in In Chambers: Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and Their Justices, edited by Todd C. Peppers and Artemus Ward. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2012, at 326, 16 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Writing: The Indispensable Practicum. The Iowa Law Review and Journals,” with Willard L. Boyd, in The History of the Iowa Law School, 1865 - 2010, edited by N. William Hines. Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Law School, 2011, at 425, 63 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Structural Attributes of Press Freedom: Private Ownership, Public Orientation, and Editorial Independence,” in Journalism and the Debate Over Privacy, edited by Craig LaMay. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2003, at 17, 41 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “A Concluding Note,” with John Soloski, in Reforming Libel Law, edited by John Soloski and Randall P. Bezanson. New York: Guilford Press, 1992, at 369, 7 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Resolving Libel Disputes Out of Court: The Libel Dispute Resolution Program,” with Roselle L. Wissler, Gilbert Cranberg, John Soloski, and Brian C. Murchison, in Reforming Libel Law, edited by John Soloski and Randall P. Bezanson. New York: Guilford Press, 1992, at 286, 37 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Uniform Defamation Act [Committee Draft],” in Reforming Libel Law, edited by John Soloski and Randall P. Bezanson. New York: Guilford Press, 1992, at 323, 29 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Economics of Libel,” with Gilbert Cranberg and John Soloski, in The Cost of Libel: Economic and Policy Implications, edited by Everette E. Dennis and Eli M. Noam. New York: Columbia University Press, 1989, at 21, 19 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, "An Alternative Solution to the Problems of Libel Litigation,” Entertainment, Publishing and the Arts Handbook. New York: Clark Boardman Co., 1988, at 99, 14 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Ethics of Libel,” in Ethics and the Media, edited by Maile Gene Sagen. Iowa City, IA: Iowa Humanities Board, 1987, at 30, 6 pages.

Articles

Randall P. Bezanson, “Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Free Speech?,” 91 Oregon Law Review 601 (2012), 7 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Whither Freedom of the Press?,” 97 Iowa Law Review 1259 (2012), 16 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “No Middle Ground? Reflections on the Citizens United Decision,” 96 Iowa Law Review 649 (2011), 19 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Trespassory Art,” with Andrew Finkelman, 43 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 245 (2010), 78 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Manner of Government Speech (Symposium: Government Speech),” 87 Denver University Law Review 809 (2010), 9 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Scholarship and Fair Use,” with Joseph M. Miller, 33 Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts 409 (2010), 62 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Introducing the Iowa Law Review Bulletin,” 95 Iowa Law Review Bulletin 1 (2009), 3 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “An Economic Slowdown Is No Time to Shrink the News,” with Gilbert Cranberg, Nieman Watchdog (November 13, 2008).
Randall P. Bezanson, “Art and the Constitution,” 93 Iowa Law Review 1593 (2008), 18 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Performing Art: National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley,” 60 Federal Communications Law Journal 535 (2008), 42 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “What’s to Stop A New Kind of ‘Family-owned’ Newspaper,” with Gilbert Cranberg, Nieman Watchdog (May 13, 2008).
Phillip P. Bezanson, “Can the Media and the Bar Get Too Close for Ethical Comfort?,” with Gilbert Cranberg, Nieman Watchdog (Oct. 30, 2007).
Phillip P. Bezanson, “What Nelson Poynter Can Teach the Bancrofts,” with Gilbert Cranberg, Nieman Watchdog (June 14, 2007).
Randall P. Bezanson, “Memo to Sam Zell: Keep in Mind That Your Main Product Is News,” with Gilbert Cranberg, Nieman Watchdog (April 3, 2007).
Randall P. Bezanson, “What’s at Stake in the Times’s 2-Tier Stock Battle,” with Gilbert Cranberg, Nieman Watchdog (April 26, 2007).
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Foundations of Federalism: An Exchange,” with Steven C. Moeller, 7 Journal of Philosophy, Science & Law (March 12, 2007), 32 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Taking Stock of Newspapers and their Future (Symposium: Mass Media in the Twenty-First Century),” with Gilbert Cranberg, 2 Florida International University Law Review 23 (2007), 18 pages.
Phillip P. Bezanson, “Staff Cuts May Make Owners Vulnerable in Libel Cases (Commentary),” with Gilbert Cranberg, Nieman Watchdog (September 15, 2006).
Randall P. Bezanson, “Ninety Years of the Iowa Law Review: The Personalities, Policies, and Events that Shaped a Tradition in Iowa Legal Education,” with Willard L. Boyd, 91 Iowa Law Review 1 (2005), 57 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “A Tribute to Edward O. Henneman,” 62 Washington and Lee Law Review 1411, at 1416 (2005), 2 pages.
“Introducing a New Concept into Libel Law,” with Gilbert Cranberg, 59 Nieman Reports (The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University), no. 2, at 45 (Summer 2005), 2 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Institutional Reckless Disregard for the Truth in Public Defamation Actions Against the Press,” with Gilbert Cranberg, 90 Iowa Law Review 887 (2005), 43 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Speaking through Others’ Voices: Authorship, Originality, and Free Speech,” 38 Wake Forest Law Review 983 (2003), 128 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Speaking Out of Thin Air: A Comment on Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston,” with Michele Choe, 25 Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal (Comm/Ent) 149 (2002), 40 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Remembering David Vernon,” 87 Iowa Law Review 809 (2002), 3 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Profits and Press Freedom: The Business of News,” 28 Human Rights 20 (Fall 2001), 4 pages; published in abbreviated form as “Profits and Press Freedom,” 40 Iowa Advocate 23 (Fall/Winter 2001), 4 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Many Faces of Government Speech,” with William G. Buss, 86 Iowa Law Review 1377 (2001), 135 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Artifactual Speech,” 3 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 819 (2000), 31 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, "Model Health Information Disclosure Act (MHIDA)," 25 Journal of Corporation Law 119 (1999), 16 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Developing Law of Editorial Judgment,” 78 Nebraska Law Review 754 (1999), 104 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Government Speech Forum: Forbes and Finley and Government Speech Selection Judgments,” 83 Iowa Law Review 953 (1998), 42 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Means and Ends and Food Lion: The Tension Between Exemption and Independence in Newsgathering by the Press,” 47 Emory Law Journal 895 (1998), 33 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Atomization of the Newspaper: Technology, Economics and the Coming Transformation of Editorial Judgments about News,” 3 Communication Law and Policy 175 (1998), 66 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Quality of First Amendment Speech,” 20 Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal 275 (1997-1998), 121 pages; part II published as “The ‘Meaning’ of First Amendment Speech,” 54 ETC: A Review of General Semantics 133 (1997), 17 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Institutional Speech,” 80 Iowa Law Review 735 (1995), 90 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Self-Reliance (Justice Harry A. Blackmun: Recollections, Jurisprudence, Real World Reflections),” 71 North Dakota Law Review 29 (1995), 12 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Sullivan’s Paradox: The Emergence of Judicial Standards of Journalism,” with Brian C. Murchison, John Soloski, Gilbert Cranberg, and Roselle L. Wissler, 73 North Carolina Law Review 7 (1994), 107 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Emancipation as Freedom in Roe v. Wade (Symposium: The Jurisprudence of Justice Harry A. Blackmun),” 97 Dickinson Law Review 485 (1993), 28 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “‘The Right to Privacy’ Revisited: Privacy, News, and Social Change, 1890 1990,” 80 California Law Review 1133 (1992), 43 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Legislative Reform and Libel Law,” 10 Communications Lawyer no. 1, at 1 (1992), 4 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Future First Amendment,” 37 South Dakota Law Review 11 (1992), 10 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Privacy, Personality, and Social Norms,” (Response to Robert C. Post, 41 Case Western Reserve Law Review 647, 1991), 41 Case Western Reserve Law Review 681 (1991), 7 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Three Voices of Libel,” with Brian C. Murchison, 47 Washington and Lee Law Review 213 (1990), 14 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Reflections on the Iowa Law Review Past and Future,” 75 Iowa Law Review 829 (1990), 4 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “A Tribute to Justice Harry A. Blackmun,” 1990 Annual Survey of American Law xxxvii (1991), 4 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Libel Tort Today,” 45 Washington and Lee Law Review 535 (1988), 22 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Solomon Would Weep: A Comment on In the Matter of Baby M and the Limits of Judicial Authority,” 16 Law, Medicine & Health Care 126 (1988), 5 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Why Current Libel Law Doesn’t Work,” with Roselle L. Wissler, Gilbert Cranberg, and John Soloski, 27 Judges’ Journal no. 2, at 29 (1988), 6 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Resolving Libel Cases Out of Court,” with Roselle L. Wissler, Gilbert Cranberg, and John Soloski, 71 Judicature 197 (1988), 5 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Resolving Libel Cases Out of Court: How Attorneys View the Libel Dispute Resolution Program,” with Roselle L. Wissler, Gilbert Cranberg, Brian C. Murchison, and John Soloski, 75 Judicature 329 (1992), 5 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Alternative Strategies for Resolving Libel Claims Quickly,” with Roselle L. Wissler, Gilbert Cranberg, and John Soloski, 5 Communications Lawyer no. 4, at 8 (1987), 3 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Political Agnosticism, Editorial Freedom, and Government Neutrality Toward the Press: Observations on Minneapolis Star & Tribune Co. v. Minnesota Commissioner of Revenue,” 72 Iowa Law Review 1359 (1987), 17 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Plato’s Cave Revisited: The Epistemology of Perception in Contemporary Defamation Law,” with Kathryn L. Ingle, 90 Dickinson Law Review 585 (1986), 24 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Libel Suit in Retrospect: What Plaintiffs Want and What Plaintiffs Get,” 74 California Law Review 789 (1986), 20 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Libel Law and the Realities of Litigation: Setting the Record Straight,” 71 Iowa Law Review 215 (1985), 8 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Fault, Falsity and Reputation in Public Defamation Law: An Essay on Bose Corporation v. Consumers Union (A Dedication to Justice Harry A. Blackmun),” 8 Hamline Law Review 105 (1985), 22 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The Myths of Formalism: An Essay on Our Faith That Formalism Yields Fairness and Effectiveness in Public Administration,” 69 Iowa Law Review 957 (1984), 18 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Public Disclosures as News: Injunctive Relief and Newsworthiness in Privacy Actions Involving the Press,” 64 Iowa Law Review 1061 (1979), 49 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Toward Revision of Iowa’s Juvenile Commitment Laws: Thoughts on the Limits of Effective Government Intervention,” 63 Iowa Law Review 561 (1978), 47 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Herbert v. Lando, Editorial Judgment, and Freedom of the Press: An Essay,” 1978 University of Illinois Law Forum 605, 27 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “The New Free Press Guarantee,” 63 Virginia Law Review 731 (1977), 58 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Involuntary Treatment of the Mentally Ill in Iowa: The 1975 Legislation,” 61 Iowa Law Review 261 (1975), 136 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Abstention: The Supreme Court and Allocation of Judicial Power,” 27 Vanderbilt Law Review 1107 (1974), 45 pages.
Randall P. Bezanosn, “Some Thoughts on the Emerging Irrebuttable Presumption Doctrine,” 7 Indiana Law Review 644 (1974), 18 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, “Judicial Review of Administrative Action in Iowa,” 21 Drake Law Review 1 (1971), 57 pages.

Book Reviews

Randall P. Bezanson, “Religion Guarantees: The End of Separationism?” review of The Fourth R: Conflicts Over Religion in America’s Public Schools, by Joan DelFattore. 71 Congress Monthly no. 4 (2004), at 20, 2 pages.

Statutory Drafting

Randall P. Bezanson, Reporter, Uniform Correction or Clarification of Defamation Act with Comments. Chicago: National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, 1993.
Randall P. Bezanson, Reporter (and Drafting Committee Member), Uniform Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1989, National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, 1989; reprinted in 9C Uniform Laws Annotated 315 (2001), 20 pages.
Randall P. Bezanson, Member, Drafting Committee on Status of Children of the New Biology Act, National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, Tentative Draft (1987).