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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

Sep 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.

Sep 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?

Jul 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.

Jul 16, 2018

Under independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr in 1998, I helped draft what came to be known as the Starr Report: a summary of “substantial and credible information ... that may constitute grounds for an impeachment,” which 28 U.S.C. § 595(c) then required us to send to the House of Representatives. One of my colleagues in that endeavor was Brett Kavanaugh, the D.C. Circuit judge President Trump has nominated to the Supreme Court.