Richard B. Collins

Emeritus Professor of Law
Constitutional Law; Indian Law; Property

401 UCB
2450 Kittredge Loop Drive
Wolf Law Building
Boulder, CO  80309-0401
Office: 400B
Phone: (303) 492-5493

Curriculum Vitae:  View (PDF format)

Educational Background:
LL.B.   Harvard Law School   1966  
B.A.   Yale University   1960  
Richard Collins spent 15 years practicing Indian law with organizations such as California Rural Legal Assistance, California Indian Legal Services, Dinebeiina Nahiilna Be Agaditahe in Window Rock, Arizona, and the Native American Rights Fund (NARF). Since joining the faculty, Professor Collins has continued work as a pro bono consultant to NARF and to Native American tribes, including the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. During the course of his appellate work, he has had a major role in several important Indian law decisions, including United States Supreme Court decisions such as McClanahan v. Arizona Tax Commission, 421 U.S. 164 (1973). His scholarship also focuses on constitutional issues, and he was Director of the law school's Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law from 2002 to 2010. Professor Collins has written and lectured on such topics as the religion clauses and their relationship to Indian Tribes, the Commerce Clause, and ballot initiatives and referendums. His recent research projects include a treatise on the Colorado Constitution, written with Dale Oesterle, an article on sacred sites on government lands in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, the current revision of Felix Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law, and an article in the Colorado Law Review on lawmaking by citizens' initiatives.

Published Books

Collins (with Oesterle), The Colorado State Constitution with Historical and Interpretive Commentary, (2002).
Collins (with others), Felix S. Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law, (1982).


Propaganda for War and Transparency, 87 Denv. U. L. Rev. 819 (2010) (Symposium: Government Speech)..
Affirmative Action in American Constitutional Law, translated into Chinese by Xu Tieying and published in the Chinese language journal, VII Roman Law and Modern Civil Law 367 (Xu Guodong ed., 2010)..
Telluride's Tale of Eminent Domain, Home Rule, and Retroactivity, 86 Den. U. L. Rev. 1433 (symposium). (2009).
The Colorado Constitution in the New Century, 78 U. Colo. L. Rev. 1265 (2007).
A Brief History of the U.S.-American Indian Nations Relationship, Hum. Rts., Spring 2006, at 3 (2006).
Collins (with Karla D. Miller), A People Without Law, 5 Indigenous L.J. 83 (2006).
Sacred Sites and Religious Freedom on Government Land, 5 U. Penn. J. Const. L. 241 (2003).
Western Justice, 112 Yale L.J. 975 (a tribute to Justice White) (2003).
How Democratic Are Initiatives?, 72 U. Colo. L. Rev. 983 (2001).

Book Reviews

Book Review, 50 Am. J. Legal Hist. 105 (Jan. 2008-2010), (reviewing David J. Bederman, The Classical Foundations of the American Constitution: Prevailing Wisdom (2008)).
38(11) Colo. Law. 101 (Nov. 2009), (reviewing American Indian Law Deskbook, 4th ed.) (2008).
Book Review, 39(2) W. Hist. Q. 218 (reviewing Tribal Water Rights: Essays in Contemporary Law, Policy, and Economics (John E. Thorson, Sarah Britton & Bonnie G. Colby eds., 2006) (2008).

Selected Press, Media & Publicity

Longmont fracking ban appeal at Supreme Court crossroads | Times-Call | Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Mondale, Emmer, Swanson Join Leading Midwest Jurists in Minneapolis for LSC Board Meeting Events | Legal Services Corporation | Tuesday, July 14, 2015
DOJ Can Still Pursue MMJ Prosecution | Law Week Colorado | Monday, April 20, 2015
Boulder Pushes Forward With Condemnation Without PUC Ruling | The Boulder Daily | Thursday, July 17, 2014
Michigan Can't Sue Tribe Over Casino Built Off Reservation; Tribe Is Immune | BNA United States Law Week | Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Fall 2021 American Indian Law I LAWS 7725-801
Fall 2020 Local Government LAWS 7255-801
Fall 2020 American Indian Law I LAWS 7725-801
Spring 2020 Constitutional Law LAWS 6005-801
Spring 2020 The Regulation of Marijuana LAWS 7718-801
Fall 2018 Local Government LAWS 7255-801
Fall 2018 American Indian Law I LAWS 7725-801
Fall 2018 American Indian Law I LAWS 7725-902
Spring 2018 Property LAWS 5624-804
Spring 2018 The Regulation of Marijuana LAWS 7718-001
Spring 2018 The Regulation of Marijuana LAWS 7718-902
Spring 2017 Constitutional Law LAWS 6005-801
Spring 2017 The Regulation of Marijuana LAWS 7718-001
Fall 2016 Local Government LAWS 7255-001
Fall 2016 American Indian Law I LAWS 7725-001
Spring 2016 Property LAWS 5624-804
Spring 2016 American Indian Law II LAWS 7735-001
Fall 2015 The Regulation of Marijuana LAWS 7718-001
Spring 2015 Constitutional Law LAWS 6005-802
Spring 2015 Seminar: Advanced Topics in American Indian Law LAWS 8725-001
Fall 2014 Local Government LAWS 7255-001
Spring 2014 Constitutional Law LAWS 6005-803
Fall 2013 Law and Religion LAWS 7085-001
Fall 2013 American Indian Law I LAWS 7725-001
Spring 2013 Property LAWS 5624-801
Fall 2012 Wills and Trusts LAWS 6104-001