Ronald K. L. Collins
Before he retired, Ronald K. L. Collins was the Harold S. Shefelman Scholar at the University of Washington Law School and prior to that was a scholar at the Washington, D.C. office of the Newseum’s First Amendment Center. He was a law clerk for Justice Hans A. Linde on the Oregon Supreme Court and a Supreme Court Fellow under Chief Justice Warren Burger.
Collins has written constitutional briefs presented to the Supreme Court and various other federal and state high courts. In addition to the books that he co-authored with David Skover, he is the editor of "Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Free Speech Reader" (2010) and co-author with Sam Chaltain of "We Must Not Be Afraid to Be Free" (2011). His last solo book was "Nuanced Absolutism: Floyd Abrams and the First Amendment" (2013).
Collins’ other books on free speech include: "The Death of Discourse” (3rd ed. 2023); "The Trials of Lenny Bruce: The Fall & Rise of an American Icon" (2002 and 2012); "On Dissent: Its Meaning in America" (2013); "When Money Speaks: The McCutcheon Decision, Campaign Finance Laws, and the First Amendment" (2014); "The People v. Ferlinghetti: The Fight to Publish Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL" (2019); and "Robotica: Speech Rights & Artificial Intelligence" (2018).
More recently, he coauthored a college text entitled "First Things First — A Modern Coursebook on Free Speech Fundamentals" (with Will Creeley, David Hudson, Jr., and Jackie Farmer, 2019) and a law school casebook titled "The First Amendment in Modernity – Casebook on The Fundamentals of Freedom" (with Greg Lukianoff, Creeley, Hudson, and Jackie Farmer, 2023).
Collins is the book editor of SCOTUSblog and writes a weekly blog (First Amendment News), which appears on the FIRE website.
His scholarly articles have appeared in numerous journals including the Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review, Michigan Law Review, and the Supreme Court Review, among other publications.
Collins is co-founder and co-director of The First Amendment Salons (Wash. D.C. and N.Y.C.).
- ‘The First Amendment and the Right to Record Police’ documentary wins international television award — First Amendment News 380,
- Post-settlement First Amendment Salon: Lawyers for Dominion and Fox exchange views — First Amendment News 379,
- Paul Clement files cert. petition in campaign ballot slogan case — First Amendment News 378,
- Major moves: Corn-Revere on FIRE, Mchangama and Future of Free Speech Project open base at Vanderbilt University — First Amendment News 377,
- Settlement in Dominion v. Fox News case — facts, questions, and takeaways — First Amendment News 376,
- Review essay: Handman and Feder on Barbas’ ‘Actual Malice’ — A new look at NYT v. Sullivan — First Amendment News 375,
- Artificial thinking in an age of artificial intelligence: Preliminary thoughts on the parameters of First Amendment jurisprudence — First Amendment News 374,
- Stanford’s Gerald Gunther warned against campus limits on free speech three decades ago — First Amendment News 373,
- The costs of risks: Is Dominion v. Fox headed to settlement? — First Amendment News 372,
- Heckler’s veto in raucous play at Stanford Law School, federal judge’s speech shouted down — First Amendment News 371,
Host a FIRE Speaker On Your Campus
Hosting a FIRE speaker at your school is a great way to catalyze social change at your institution and educate your campus community about the importance of free speech, due process, and religious liberty.
Explore Our Work
FIRE is a mission-driven organization of hardworking, dedicated team members committed to defending and sustaining the individual rights of all Americans to free speech and free thought.Explore FIRE's Advocacy