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.).
- Author identity and the politics of suppression in today’s publishing world — First Amendment News 402,
- Perilous times: The plight of local papers — First Amendment News 401,
- Chemerinsky: ‘I am a 70-year-old Jewish man, but never in my life have I seen or felt the antisemitism of the last few weeks.’ — First Amendment News 400,
- What’s wrong with First Amendment casebooks? Where to begin? First Amendment News 399,
- Where were Little Brown’s sensitivity readers? A few thoughts on the Wenner Rolling Stone controversy — First Amendment News 398,
- Was John Milton naïve? Is counterspeech a real remedy or a First Amendment fantasy? — First Amendment News 397,
- X-man, champion of free speech? How absurd! — First Amendment News 396,
- Defending the right ‘to talk drool in favor of a proletarian dictatorship’ — First Amendment News 395,
- Thoughtful, stimulating, and a bit edgy at times: New Floyd Abrams documentary — First Amendment News 394,
- A few reflections on alienation and speech in our post-modern times — First Amendment News 393,
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