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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

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.

Jan 25, 2017

For President Trump, negative news coverage must be the handiwork of partisan enemies. Ironically, the intelligence agencies took much the same approach when they assessed Russian interference in the election. Though it got much less attention than the analysis of hacking, the report released on January 6 includes a lengthy discussion of the Kremlin-funded TV network RT. No less than Trump’s diatribes about “the dishonest media,” the agencies’ examination of RT serves to remind us that media criticism isn’t a job for the federal government.

Oct 15, 2015

In its 14th year, the Vegas Valley Book Festival is loaded with so many interesting writers and educators that whittling down your options will be excruciating. Here’s a look at five of the free talks taking place October 17 at Downtown’s Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth Street.