Garry, Patrick M.

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Garry, Patrick M.


Education: University of Minnesota, J.D., 1984, Ph.D., 1986.


Home—SD. Office—School of Law, University of South Dakota, 414 E. Clark St., Vermillion, SD 57069. E-mail—[email protected].


University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD, visiting assistant professor, 2003-04, assistant professor, 2004-06, associate professor of law, 2006—. Also worked for ten years in a Minneapolis, MN, law firm. Columbia University, visiting scholar and resident scholar at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center, 1993-94; visiting professor, St. John's University, 1994-95; University of Notre Dame, visiting scholar, 2004; visiting professor, University of Utah, 2005, George Washington University, 2006, 2007, and University of Missouri, 2007; guest lecturer at law schools; legal advisor to the Minnesota News Council; research project advisor, Silha Center for Media Law and Ethics, University of Minnesota.


Chiesman Foundation research grant; Research Catalyst Program research grant, University of South Dakota.



The American Vision of a Free Press: An Historical and Constitutional Revisionist View of the Press as a Marketplace of Ideas, Garland (New York, NY), 1990.

Liberalism and American Identity, Kent State University Press (Kent, OH), 1992.

An American Paradox: Censorship in a Nation of Free Speech, Praeger (Westport, CT), 1993.

Scrambling for Protection: The New Media and the First Amendment, University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 1994.

A Nation of Adversaries: How the Litigation Explosion Is Reshaping America, Plenum Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Cultural Whiplash: The Unforeseen Consequences of America's Crusade against Racial Discrimination, Cumberland House (Nashville, TN), 2006.

Rediscovering a Lost Freedom: The First Amendment Right to Censor Unwanted Speech, Transaction Publishers (New Brunswick, NJ), 2006.

Wrestling with God: The Courts' Tortuous Treatment of Religion, Catholic University of America Press (Washington, DC), 2006.

An Entrenched Legacy: How the New Deal Constitutional Revolution Continues to Shape the Role of the Supreme Court, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA), 2007.

Contributor to books, including Encyclopedia of the Midwest, Ohio State University Press; The Encyclopedia of the First Amendment, Congressional Quarterly Press; History of the U.S. District Court, West Publishing, 1988; The Oxford Companion to the U.S. Supreme Court of the United States, Oxford University Press, 1992; Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Democratic Foundations of the First Amendment, Peter Lang, 1993; The Encyclopedia of World War I, Garland Publishing, 1995; Campus Speech Codes Violate Free Speech, Greenhaven Press, 1997; The Oxford Companion to U.S. History, Oxford University Press, 2001; The First Amendment Law Handbook, 2006; and Anonymous Sources and Libel Law, 2007. Contributor to scholarly journals, including Missouri Law Review, Brigham Young University Law Review, Arizona State Law Journal, Pepperdine Law Review, University of Miami Law Review, Kentucky Law Journal, Alabama Law Review, Nevada Law Journal, Nexus Law Journal, Brandeis Law Journal, Cumberland Law Review, Seton Hall Law Review, Modern Age, UMKC Law Review, South Dakota Law Review, Temple Law Review, Florida Law Review, Utah Law Review, Wake Forest Law Review, San Diego Law Review, Denver University Law Review, Hofstra Law Review, Michigan State University Law Review, University of Pittsburgh Law Review, Capital University Law Review, Southern Methodist University Law Review, National Forum, Journal of Law and Religion, Hastings Communication and Entertainment Law Journal, Law and Social Inquiry, Annals of Iowa, Hamline Law Review, Reviews in American History, Marquette Law Review, Law and Society Review, and the William Mitchell Law Review. Contributor to newspapers and magazines, including Chicago Tribune, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Cincinnati Post, Washington Times, Indianapolis News, Omaha World-Herald, Daily Times, Northwest Herald, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Republic, Union Leader, Insight Magazine, Free Lance-Star, Standard-Examiner, and Law & Politics.


Suicidal Tendencies, PublishAmerica, 2006.

Blinded, Xlibris, 2006.

Saving Faith, Inkwater Press, 2007.

Contagion, Inkwater Press, 2007.

The Prisoner, Xlibris, 2007.


Law professor Patrick M. Garry has written a number of books commenting on the relationship between the law and a changing society. His Scrambling for Protection: The New Media and the First Amendment, for example, addresses the issue of how new technology, such as e-mail and the Internet, have an impact on the Constitutional definition of a free media. Can a Web site, for example, be considered under the same laws as a printed newspaper? "Garry believes not only that these new media are legitimate elements of the press, he also believes that the bulletin boards, list services, and 900 numbers of today are much closer to the type of participatory and opinion-based press of the eighteenth century that the First Amendment was designed to protect, than are the monopolistic corporations that control daily newspapers and network television today," reported Timothy A. Byrnes in his Commonweal review of Scrambling for Protection. Byrnes concluded that, overall, Garry provides "insightful analyses of the radical change that technological advances are bringing to democracy, statecraft, and American civil liberties." Although Political Science Quarterly reviewer Doris A. Graber argued that, contrary to Garry's opinion, "there is no evidence that an unduly narrow interpretation of the First Amendment that places limits on broadcasters and other media has been a major restraint on public debate," the critic concluded that "Garry is absolutely right that the nature of the American media system and its interface with government needs to be reexamined and that much of the current media fare fails to serve the civic needs of average Americans."

With A Nation of Adversaries: How the Litigation Explosion Is Reshaping America, Garry maintains that a litigious attitude once limited to the courtrooms has now entered all aspects of American society. Many people see themselves as victims deserving compensation from their alleged adversaries. He then examines legal examples involving everything from sex and family life to religion. "This brisk, dispiriting account offers a convincing portrayal of our country in an ‘age of defiance,’" wrote a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Booklist contributor Brian McCombie similarly described the book as a "depressingly accurate" portrayal of modern America.

Taking one negative aspect of American society—racism—and focusing on it in Cultural Whiplash: The Unforeseen Consequences of America's Crusade against Racial Discrimination, Garry describes a culture where whites are terrified of offending minorities and minorities are far too quick to take offense. In Reader Views, Debra Gaynor felt that Garry was right on the mark: "Garry is stating what many of us have believed for a long time. Racism is deplorable but so is what is happening to our society today…. We have become a society that is terribly afraid of a lawsuit, of being called a racist, so we head the other direction, turning our country over to fear and chaos. Racism will not end until we redefine it."

Another problem in American society is discussed in Wrestling with God: The Courts' Tortuous Treatment of Religion. Here, Garry attempts to point out that the Founding Fathers' definition of the state/religion relationship is far different from the current "separation of Church and State" mindset. The author feels that the writers of the U.S. Constitution felt that religious leaders and organizations should freely participate in American democracy, as long as one religion is not favored over another. Library Journal reviewer Augustine J. Curley pointed out that Garry's "well-defined presentation" explains how the courts have misconstrued the Constitution and Bill of Rights. This has resulted in religious practices being limited by court decisions that use "free exercise and non-establishment clauses" incorrectly.



Booklist, October 15, 1994, Aaron Cohen, review of Scrambling for Protection: The New Media and the First Amendment, p. 378; May 15, 1997, Brian McCombie, review of A Nation of Adversaries: How the Litigation Explosion Is Reshaping America, p. 1545.

Commonweal, April 21, 1995, Timothy A. Byrnes, review of Scrambling for Protection, p. 22.

Library Journal, June 1, 2006, Augustine J. Curley, review of Wrestling with God: The Courts' Tortuous Treatment of Religion, p. 124.

Political Science Quarterly, summer, 1995, Doris A. Graber, review of Scrambling for Protection.

Publishers Weekly, May 26, 1997, review of A Nation of Adversaries, p. 78.


Reader Views, (July 17, 2007), Debra Gaynor, review of Cultural Whiplash: The Unforeseen Consequences of America's Crusade against Racial Discrimination.