Stephen Bates

Associate Professor, Journalism and Media Studies
Expertise: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, Privacy, The Constitution & First Amendment Law, Drones and Legal Issues


Stephen Bates is an associate professor in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has taught “The First Amendment and Society,” “Banned Books,” “Political Communication,” and “Privacy.” He also co-teaches a course on legal issues involving drones at the Boyd School of Law.

Bates’ research focuses on the First Amendment. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of four books, with another one under contract. His articles have appeared in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Communication Law and Policy, the First Amendment Law Review, and the International Journal of Communication, as well as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Wilson Quarterly. He holds an A.B. and a J.D. from Harvard University.

A former board member of the ACLU of Nevada, Bates is a member of the advisory board of the Black Mountain Institute at UNLV, the planning committee for the Vegas Valley Book Festival, and the Privacy Subcommittee of the Nevada Attorney General’s Technological Crime Advisory Board.


  • J.D., Harvard University
  • A.B., Harvard University

Stephen Bates In The News

February 11, 2019
As special counsel Robert Mueller prepares a final report on his investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 election and possible Trump campaign complicity, two historic presidential inquiries offer distinct -- and clashing -- models.
Las Vegas Review Journal
September 17, 2018
UNLV professor Stephen Bates is one of three legal experts who filed a petition in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Friday asking for a decades-old Watergate document to be made public.
New York Times
September 17, 2018
A question has loomed over Washington: What will the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, do when he wraps up his investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia and whether President Trump obstructed justice?
Washington Post
July 16, 2018
The Supreme Court says a grand jury can keep digging until “every available clue has been run down.” As a former lawyer on the staff of independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr, I hope that’s not Robert Mueller’s plan. If, as reported, he’s thinking about subpoenaing President Trump to testify , he should drop the idea. The rule of law is at stake.