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University of Pennsylvania v. EEOC

Significance, Two Claims Lead To One Question, No Academic Institutional Privilege, Impact, Further Readings


University of Pennsylvania


Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Petitioner's Claim

That the university has special privilege grounded in either common law or the First Amendment to prohibit disclosure of peer review materials relevant to racial, sexual, or national origin discrimination claims in tenure decisions.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Rex E. Lee

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Kenneth Winston Starr, U.S. Solicitor General

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun (writing for the Court), William J. Brennan, Jr., Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, Thurgood Marshall, William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

9 January 1990


In a unanimous decision, upheld the court of appeals finding that neither common law nor a First Amendment academic freedom privilege protects peer review tenure materials.

Related Cases

  • Sweezy v. New Hampshire, 354 U.S. 234 (1957).
  • Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972).
  • Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978).
  • Jaffe v. Redmond, 116 S.Ct. 1923 (1996).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994