Helen Norton

Professor and Ira C. Rothgerber, Jr. Chair in Constitutional Law

University of Colorado Law School
Wolf Law Building
401 UCB
Boulder, CO  80309-0401
Office: 412
Phone: (303) 492-5751
E-mail: helen.norton@colorado.edu

Curriculum Vitae:  View (PDF format)

Educational Background:
J.D.   University of California at Berkeley   1989  
B.A.   Stanford University   1986   with Distinction
Professor Norton's scholarly and teaching interests include constitutional law (especially free speech and equality) and civil rights law. Before entering academia, Professor Norton served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as Director of Legal and Public Policy at the National Partnership for Women & Families. She served as leader of President-elect Obama's transition team charged with reviewing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and is frequently invited to testify before Congress and federal agencies on civil rights law and policy issues. She has been honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award on multiple occasions and was appointed a University of Colorado Presidential Teaching Scholar in 2014. She holds a J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, where she served as Associate Editor of the California Law Review, and a B.A. from Stanford University, where she graduated with distinction. Her work has been published in the Duke Law Journal, Northwestern University Law Review, the Stanford Law Review Online, and the Supreme Court Review, among other fine journals.

Published Books

The Government's Speech and the Constitution, Cambridge University Press (2019).


Powerful Speakers and Their Listeners, 90 University of Colorado Law Review 441 (2019).
Pregnancy and the First Amendment, 87 Fordham L. Rev. 2417 (2019).
The Government's Lies and the Press Clause, 89 U. COLO. L. REV. 453 (2018).
Norton (with Toni Massaro & Margot E. Kaminski), Siri-ously 2.0: What Free Speech Rights for Artificial Intelligence Reveal About the First Amendment, 101 Minnesota Law Review 2481 (2017).
Government Speech and the War on Terror, 86 FORDHAM L. REV. 543 (2017).
Siri-ously? Free Speech Rights for Artificial Intelligence, 110 NW. U. L. REV. (2016) (with Toni M. Massaro).
Truth and Lies in the Workplace: Employer Speech and the First Amendment, 101 MINN. L. REV. (2016).
The Government's Lies and the Constitution, 91 IND. L.J. 73 (2015).
Lies and the Constitution, 2012 SUPREME CT. REVIEW 161 (2013).
The Equal Implications of Government's Hateful Speech, 54 WM. & MARY L. REV. 159 (2012).
Campaign Speech Law With a Twist: When Government is the Speaker, Not the Regulator, 61 EMORY L.J. 209 (2011).
Intermediaries and Hate Speech: Fostering Digital Citizenship for the Information Age, 91 BOSTON U. L. REV. 1435 (2011) (with Danielle Keats Citron).
The Supreme Court's Post-Racial Turn Towards a Zero-Sum Understanding of Equality, 52 WM. & MARY L. REV. 197 (2010).
Government Speech 2.0., 87 DENV. U. L. REV. 899 (2010) (with Danielle Keats Citron).
Constraining Public Employee Speech: Government's Control of Its Workers' Speech to Protect Its Own Expression, 59 DUKE L.J. 1 (2009).
The Measure of Government Speech: Identifying Expression's Source, 88 BOSTON U. L. REV. 587 (2008).
Stepping Through Grutter's Open Doors: What the University of Michigan Affirmative Action Cases Mean for Race-Conscious Government Decisionmaking, 78 Temple L. Rev. 543 (2005).
Not for Attribution: Government's Interest in Protecting the Integrity of Its Own Expression, 37 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1317 (2004).
You Can't Ask (or Say) That: The First Amendment Implications of Civil Rights Restrictions on Decisionmaker Speech, 11 William & Mary Bill of Rights. J. 727 (2003).

Other Publications

The Government's Manufacture of Doubt, 16 FIRST AM. L. REV. 342 (2018).
Remedies and the Government's Constitutionally Harmful Speech, 9 ConLawNow 49 (2018).
Robotic Speakers and Human Listeners, 41 Seattle University Law Review. 1145 (2018).
(At Least) Thirteen Ways of Looking at Election Lies, 71 Okla. L. Rev. 117 (2018).
Employers' Duties of Honesty and Accuracy, 21 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal. 575 (2017).
Government Speech and Political Courage, 68 STAN. L. REV. ONLINE 61 (2015).
Setting the Tipping Point For Disclosing The Identity of Anonymous Online Speakers: Lessons from Other Disclosure Contexts, 49 WAKE FOREST L. REV. 565 (2014).
Secrets, Lies, and Disclosures, 27 JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLITICS 641 (2012).
Government Speech in Transition, 57 S.Dak. L. Rev. 421 (2012).
Imaginary Threats to Government's Expressive Interests, 61 Case Western Res. L. Rev. 1265 (2011).
Shining a Light on Democracy's Dark Lagoon, 61 S. CAR. L. REV. 535 (2010).
Government Workers and Government Speech, 7 First Amendment L. Rev. 75 (2008).

Book Chapters

Norton (with Toni M. Massaro), Artificial Intelligence and the First Amendment, in Research Handbook on the Law of Artificial Intelligence 353 (Woodrow Barfield ed., Edward Elgar 2018).
What's New is Old Again (And Vice Versa), in Ronald Collins & David Skover, ROBOTICA: SPEECH RIGHTS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (Cambridge University Press 2018).
Lies To Manipulate, Misappropriate, and Acquire Government Power, in Austin D. Sarat, ed., LAW AND LIES: DECEPTION AND TRUTH-TELLING IN THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM (Cambridge University Press 2015).

Book Reviews

Excavating the Forgotten Suspension Clause, JOTWELL, Oct. 26, 2018 (reviewing Amanda Tyler, Habeas Corpus in Wartime: From the Tower of London to Guantanamo Bay (2017)).

Congressional Testimony

Federal Antidiscrimination Law Implications of Excluding Currently Unemployed Workers from Consideration for Job Opportunities, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2011).
The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act: Hearing on H.R. 3721 Before the Subcomm. on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 111th Cong. (2010).
The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act: Hearing on S. 1756 Before the S. Comm. on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, 111th Cong. (2010).
Employment Non-Discrimination Act: Ensuring Opportunity for All Americans: Hearing Before the S. Comm. On Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, 111th Cong. (2009).
Protecting American Employees from Workplace Discrimination: Hearing on H.R. 1431 Before H. Subcomm. on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions of the H. Comm. on Education and Labor, 110th Cong. (2008).
Civil Rights Division Oversight: Hearing Before S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 110th Cong. (2007).

Selected Press, Media & Publicity

Truth and Lies in the Workplace: Employer Speech and the First Amendment | Social Science Research Network | Friday, February 26, 2016
Florida Rules Prohibiting Uncertified Lawyers from Advertising as Specialists are Struck Down | ABA Journal | Monday, February 1, 2016
Could Computers Have First Amendment Rights? | The Wall Street Journal Law Blog | Wednesday, November 18, 2015
GOVERNMENT SPEECH AND POLITICAL COURAGE | Stanford Law Review | Friday, October 30, 2015
Massaro & Norton on Communicative Artificial Intelligence & the First Amendment | Legal Theory Blog | Monday, August 17, 2015
Expand harassment laws to protect victims of online abuse | Aljazeera America | Saturday, March 21, 2015
Tennessee Town Bans Negative Online Comments, Gets Trolled by Reddit | Bloomberg Businessweek.com | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The Unemployed Need Not Apply | The New York Times | Saturday, February 19, 2011


Spring 2020 Constitutional Law LAWS 6005-803
Spring 2020 First Amendment LAWS 7015-801
Fall 2019 Seminar: Speech, Religion, and Equality: Constitutional Values in Tension LAWS 8035-801
Spring 2019 Constitutional Law LAWS 6005-802
Spring 2019 First Amendment LAWS 7015-801
Spring 2018 Constitutional Law LAWS 6005-802
Fall 2017 Torts LAWS 5425-802
Fall 2017 First Amendment LAWS 7015-801
Spring 2017 Constitutional Law LAWS 6005-804
Fall 2016 Legislation and Regulation LAWS 5205-802
Fall 2016 Legislation and Regulation LAWS 5205-905
Fall 2016 Seminar: Speech, Religion, and Equality: Constitutional Values in Tension LAWS 8035-001
Spring 2016 Constitutional Law LAWS 6005-802
Spring 2016 First Amendment LAWS 7015-001
Fall 2015 Problem Solving, Professional Judgment, and Decision Making LAWS 6813-001
Spring 2014 Constitutional Law LAWS 6005-801
Fall 2013 Seminar: Speech, Religion, and Equality: Constitutional Values in Tension LAWS 8035-001
Spring 2013 Constitutional Law LAWS 6005-803
Fall 2012 Legislation and Regulation LAWS 5205-802
Fall 2012 Torts LAWS 5425-803