Kahn, Robert

Robert Kahn

Associate Professor

Kahn,-Robert
(651) 962-4807
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-4807

1000 LaSalle Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403-2015

Office Location: MSL 315

Ph.D., Johns Hopkins

J.D., New York University Law School

B.A., Columbia University

Born and bred in the Boston suburbs, Rob Kahn graduated Columbia University with a B.A. in History. The summer after his junior year Kahn studied in Madrid, Spain. Kahn then attended NYU Law School, where was a member of the Order of the Coif, as an editorial board member of The Commentator, NYU’s law student newspaper, and a Note and Comment Editor for the N.Y.U. Review of Law and Social Change. After law school, Kahn clerked for Magistrate-Judge Leonard I. Bernikow of the Southern District of New York and litigated social security disability cases with Harlem Legal Services.

Kahn also has a PhD in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University, where he studied comparative law and politics with an emphasis on comparative criminal procedure. In 2004 he published Holocaust Denial and the Law: A Comparative Study. The book, based on Kahn’s dissertation, examines how differing forms of criminal procedure (adversarial vs. inquisitorial) helped or hindered the prosecution of Holocaust denial. Kahn’s subsequent research has focused on hate speech directed at Muslims (including the Danish Cartoons), defamation of religions, cross-burning and memory laws. Kahn is currently working on a book length manuscript on how history, culture and geography make a society more or less likely to punish hate speech.

Kahn has taught legal writing for over a decade. At Brooklyn Law School, he taught Legal Research, Writing and Analysis and Fundamentals of Legal Drafting. In 2007, he joined the University of St. Thomas faculty, where he has taught Lawyering Skills I and II, and Islam and Civil Liberties. He has also supervised independent studies on a wide variety of subjects including animal law, drones, immigration and Islamic finance.

Kahn lives with his wife Jacqueline and his two children – Jenny, age 8, and Jimmy, age 10, in St. Paul. When not going hiking or playing Magic: The Gathering with his children, Kahn closely follows the fate of the Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, and New England Patriots.

Courses Taught

Number Title Credits
620 Lawyering Skills I 3
625 Lawyering Skills II 2
716 Lawyering Skills for LLM Stud 4
763 Islam & Civil Liberties 2
950 Supervised Resrch & Writing .5

Areas of Academic Expertise

Lawyering Skills
European Hate Speech Laws
Muslims and the Law
Holocaust Denial Laws 

From the article "Grand Ideas: Faculty members describe the best ideas from their scholarship" St. Thomas Lawyer Magazine Fall 2011

My scholarship explores how historical experiences, legal institutions and cultural traditions help determine the type of speech acts a society bans. My main focus has been hate speech laws in Europe. For example, I observed that Holocaust-denial bans were more likely to emerge in countries with direct experience with Nazi rule. Especially in Germany, such laws were defended as a precaution against totalitarianism. More recent work has focused on the integration of Muslims in Europe, an issue in which I have found a similar argument. Burqa bans and the publication of the Danish cartoons have been justified as necessary steps to avoid appeasing “radical Islam,” which replaced Hitler and Stalin as Europe’s new totalitarian threat. Interestingly, however, the response to this “new totalitarianism” has been to call for more speech and an end to Europe’s hate speech laws.

Upcoming: I am studying the trial of Geert Wilders, a politician charged with violating Dutch hate speech laws for anti-Muslim comments.

Contributions and mentions in the media

DW (Germany) - "Germany Moves to Silence Holocaust Deniers Across Europe"

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Radio Islam - "How Hate is Dealt with in America and Europe"

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Radio Islam - "The Rise of Fascism in India"

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Minnesota Lawyer - "Tips to whip your writing into shape"

Tips to whip your writing into shape">View Publication

Books

Robert A. Kahn, Holocaust Denial and the Law: A Comparative Study (Palgrave Macmillan 2004).

Chapters

Robert A. Kahn, Holocaust Denial and Hate Speechin Genocide Denials and the Law 77 (Ludovic Hennebel & Thomas Hochmann eds., Oxford U. Press 2011).

Robert A. Kahn, Strange Bedfellows? Western Deniers and the Arab World, in Not Your Father’s Anti-Semitism: Hatred of Jews in the Twenty-First Century 183 (Michael Berenbaum ed., Paragon House 2008).

Robert A. Kahn, Did the Burning Cross Speak? Virginia v. Black and the Debate Between Justices O’Connor and Thomas over the History of Cross Burning, in 39 Studies in Law, Politics, and Society 75 (Austin Sarat ed., Emerald Group Publ'g Ltd. 2006).

Robert A. Kahn, Imagining Legal Fairness: A Comparative Perspective, in New Approaches to Comparative Politics: Insights from Political Theory 125 (Jennifer S. Holmes ed., Lexington Books 2003).

Articles

Robert A. Kahn, Are Muslims the New Catholics? Europe's Headscarf Laws in Comparative Historical Perspective, 21 Duke J. Comp. & Int’l L. 567 (2011).

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Robert A. Kahn, A Margin of Appreciation for Muslims? Viewing the Defamation of Religions Debate through Otto-Preminger-Institut v. Austria, 5 Charleston L. Rev. 401 (2011).

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Robert A. Kahn, Flemming Rose, the Danish Cartoon Controversy, and the New European Freedom of Speech, 40 Cal. W. Int’l L.J. 253 (2010).

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Robert A. Kahn, Islam Symposium: An Introduction, 7 U. St. Thomas L.J. vii (2010).

Robert A. Kahn, The Danish Cartoon Controversy and the Rhetoric of Libertarian Regret, 16  U. Miami Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 151 (2009).

Robert A. Kahn, The Danish Cartoon Controversy and the Exclusivist Turn in European Civic Nationalism, 8 Stud. Ethnicity & Nationalism 524 (2008).

Robert A. Kahn, The Headscarf as Threat: A Comparison of German and U.S. Legal Discourses, 40 Vand. J. Transnat’l L. 417 (2007).

Robert A. Kahn, Cross-Burning, Holocaust Denial, and the Development of Hate Speech Law in the United States and Germany, 83 U. Det. Mercy L. Rev. 163 (2006).

Robert A. Kahn, Rebuttal Versus Unmasking: Legal Strategy in R. v. Zundel, 34 Patterns of Prejudice 3 (2000).

Robert A. Kahn, Informal Censorship of Holocaust Revisionism in the United States and Germany, 9 Geo. Mason U. C.R. L.J. 125 (1998).

Robert A. Kahn, Who Takes the Blame? Scapegoating, Legal Responsibility and the Prosecution of Holocaust Revisionists in the Federal Republic of Germany and Canada, 16 Glendale L. Rev. 17 (1998).

Short Pieces

Robert A. Kahn, Why Europeans Criminalize Holocaust Denial, The N.Y. Jewish Week, March 3, 2006, at 30.

Robert A. Kahn, The Dilemmas of Prosecuting Holocaust Deniers: A Comparative Perspective, 22 Focus on Law Stud. 2 (2005).

Encyclopedia Entries

Robert A. Kahn, Beauharnais v. Illinois, in 1 Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution 53 (David A. Schultz ed., Facts on File 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, in 1 Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution 109 (David A. Schultz ed., Facts on File 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Clear and Present Danger Test, in 1 Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution 138 (David A. Schultz ed., Facts on File 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Hate Speech, in 1 Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution 349 (David A. Schultz ed., Facts on File 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Military and the Constitution, in 2 Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution 468 (David A. Schultz ed., Facts on File 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Parades, in 2 Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution 535 (David A. Schultz ed., Facts on File 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Pennsylvania v. Nelson, in 2 Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution 546 (David A. Schultz ed., Facts on File 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, R.A.V. v. St. Paul, in 2 Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution 593 (David A. Schultz ed., Facts on File 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Schenck v. United States, in 2 Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution 645 (David A. Schultz ed., Facts on File 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Anti-Mask Laws, in 1 Encyclopedia of the First Amendment 104 (John R. Vile, David L. Hudson & David A. Schultz eds., CQ Press 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Cross Burning, in 1 Encyclopedia of the First Amendment 363 (John R. Vile, David L. Hudson & David A. Schultz eds., CQ Press 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, De Scandalis Magnatum, in 1 Encyclopedia of the First Amendment 386 (John R. Vile, David L. Hudson & David A. Schultz eds., CQ Press 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Holocaust Denial, in 1 Encyclopedia of the First Amendment 577 (John R. Vile, David L. Hudson & David A. Schultz eds., CQ Press 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Islam, in 2 Encyclopedia of the First Amendment 612 (John R. Vile, David L. Hudson & David A. Schultz eds., CQ Press 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese v. Milivojevich (1976), in 2 Encyclopedia of the First Amendment 983 (John R. Vile, David L. Hudson & David A. Schultz eds., CQ Press 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, United States v. Ballard (1944), in 2 Encyclopedia of the First Amendment 1093 (John R. Vile, David L. Hudson & David A. Schultz eds., CQ Press 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Virginia v. Black (2003), in 2 Encyclopedia of the First Amendment 1135 (John R. Vile, David L. Hudson & David A. Schultz eds., CQ Press 2009).

Robert A. Kahn, Adversarial vs. Inquisitorial Legal Systems, in 1 Encyclopedia of Civil Liberties in America 13 (David Schultz & John R. Vile eds., Sharpe Reference 2005).

Robert A. Kahn, Civil Law System, in 1 Encyclopedia of Civil Liberties in America 182 (David Schultz & John R. Vile eds., Sharpe Reference 2005).

Robert A. Kahn, Conscientious Objectors, in 1 Encyclopedia of Civil Liberties in America 216 (David Schultz & John R. Vile eds., Sharpe Reference 2005).

Robert A. Kahn, Gravity-of-the-Evil Test, in 2 Encyclopedia of Civil Liberties in America 425 (David Schultz & John R. Vile eds., Sharpe Reference 2005).

Robert A. Kahn, Seditious Libel, in 3 Encyclopedia of Civil Liberties in America 857 (David Schultz & John R. Vile eds., Sharpe Reference 2005).

Robert A. Kahn, Stromberg v. California, in 3 Encyclopedia of Civil Liberties in America 908 (David Schultz & John R. Vile eds., Sharpe Reference 2005).

Robert A. Kahn, Torture, in 3 Encyclopedia of Civil Liberties in America 948 (David Schultz & John R. Vile eds., Sharpe Reference 2005).