Robert F. Nagel

Rothgerber Professor of Constitutional Law
Constitutional Law

401 UCB
2450 Kittredge Loop Drive
Wolf Law Building
Boulder, CO  80309
Office: 462
Phone: (303) 492-8428

Curriculum Vitae:  View (PDF format)

Educational Background:
B.A.   Swarthmore College      with High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa
J.D.   Yale Law School     
Robert Nagel joined the faculty of Colorado Law School in 1975, leaving a position as a deputy attorney general in Pennsylvania. Since that time, he has focused on constitutional law and theory. For an audience of legal scholars, Professor Nagel has written prolifically, including four books and over 50 law review articles. He has also contributed to the popular debate on constitutional issues, including free speech, hate codes, and federalism, by addressing his ideas to the general citizenry in articles and opinion pieces in publications such as The New Republic, the Wall Street Journal, First Things, and the Weekly Standard. Much of his work has focused on the relationship between the judiciary (and its interpretation of the Constitution) and the wider context of American political culture. Professor Nagel has testified before several congressional committees. He was formerly the director of the Law School's Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law. In 2003, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Published Books

Unrestrained: Judicial Excess and the Mind of the American Lawyer, Transaction Publishers (2008).
The Implosion of American Federalism, (Oxford University Press) (2001).
Judicial Power and American Character: Censoring Ourselves in An Anxious Age, (1996).
Constitutional Cultures: The Mentality and Consequences of Judicial Review, (1989).


Same-Sex Marriage, Federalism, and Judicial Supremacy, 64 Case W. Res. L. Rev 1119 (2014).
Partiality and Disclosure in Supreme Court Opinions, 7 N.W. J.L. & Soc. Pol'y 116 (2012).
Loose Lips Sink Ships, 11 Claremont Rev. Bks. 38 (Winter 2010-Spring 2011) (reviewing Gabriel Schoenfeld, Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law (2010)).
Stevens, the Radical, The Weekly Standard, Apr. 26, 2010, at 11. (2010).
The Hot Seat, Nat'l Rev., June 8, 2009, at 46 (reviewing Lucas A. Powe, Jr., The Supreme Court and the American Elite, 1789-2008) (2009).
Questioning Sotomayor: The Senate Hearings Needn't Be Worthless, The Weekly Standard, July 13, 2009, at 8 (2009).
The Incivility Epidemic: How the Supreme Court's Defamation Decisions Coarsened Our Public Life, The Weekly Standard, Dec. 7, 2009, at 18 (2009).
R-e-s-p-e-c-t: The Next Stage in Litigating Same-Sex Marriage, The Weekly Standard, Oct. 13, at 16. (2008).
Voting Rights and Wrongs,, Claremont Rev. Bks. 40 (Winter 2008/09) (reviewing Anthony A. Peacock, Deconstructing the Republic: Voting Rights, the Supreme Court, and the Founders' Republicanism Reconsidered (2008).
Marriage and Practical Knowledge, 50 S. Tex. L. Rev. 37 (Symposium: Gay Marriage in the Conservative Movement) (2008).
Conservative Judicial Activism?: Inventing a Constitutional Right to "Medical Self-Defense", The Weekly Standard, Feb. 5, at 25. (2007).
Bowing to Precedent: A Decent Respect for the Constitution Should Cause the Supreme Court to Reconsider Some Past Decisions, The Weekly Standard, Apr. 17, 2006, at 24. (2006).
Journalists and Judges: Neither Can Be Trusted to Make Good Decisions About Secrecy, The Weekly Standard, Dec. 4, 2006, at 14. (2006).
Limiting the Court by Limiting Life Tenure, in Reforming the Court: Term Limits for Supreme Court Justices 127, Roger C. Cramton & Paul D. Carrington eds. (2006).
On the Decline of Federalism, Daedalus, Winter 2006, at 127. (2006).
Ignoring the Obvious, Claremont Review of Books (2005).
A Comment on "Everything I Know About Marriage I Learned from Law Professors", San Diego L. Rev. (2005).
The Problem With the Court: Well, the Justices, Being Lawyers, Think Like Them, Nat'l Rev., Nov. 21, 2005, at 43. (2005).
Diversity and the Practice of Interest Assessment, 53 Duke L.J. 1515 (2004).
Common Sense and Common Law, First Things 42 (February) (2004).
States and Localities: A Comment on Robert Nisbet's Communitarianism, 34 Publius 125 (2004).
Selective Justice, Claremont Rev. Books, Fall 2005, at 58 (reviewing Michael Comiskey, Seeking Justices: The Judging of Supreme Court Nominees (2004)).
Marbury v. Madison and Modern Judicial Review, 38 Wake Forest Law Review 613 (2003).
Six Opinions by Mr. Justice Stevens: A New Methodology for Constitutional Cases?, 78 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 509 (2003).
Justice Stevens' Religion Problem, First Things 9 (June/July) (2003).
Judicial Power and the Restoration of Federalism, 574 Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 52 (2001).
Nationalized Political Discourse, 69 Fordham Law Review 101 (2001).
Privacy and Celebrity: An Essay on the Nationalization of Intimacy, 33 U. Richmond L. Rev. 1121 (2000).
Indirect Constitutional Discourse: A Comment on Meese, 63 Law and Contemporary Problems 101 (2000).
Judges and Federalism: A Comment on "Justice Kennedy's Vision of Federalism", 31 Rutgers Law Journal 539 (2000).
Lies and Law, 22 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 605 (1999).
Judicial Supremacy and the Settlement Function, 39 William & Mary Law Review 849 (1998).
Playing Defense in Colorado, First Things 34, May (1998).
Advice, Consent, and Influence, 84 Nw. U. L. Rev. 858 (1990).
Political Law, Legalistic Politics: A Recent History of The Political Question Dectrine, 56 U. Chi. L. Rev. 643 (1989).
Controlling the Structural Injunction, 7 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Policy 395 (1984).

Other Publications

Judicial Power and Cultural Damage: Lessons from America, in Public Interest Litigation: New Zealand Experience In International Perspective 101 (Bigwood ed., LexisNexis) (2006).
American Judicial Review in Perspective, in Protecting Human rights in Australia 225 (Campbell, et al. ed., Ashgate) (2006).
Limiting the Court by Limiting Life Tenure, in Carrington & Crampton (eds.), Life Tenure (2005).
Supreme Chaos, Wall Street Journal, March 7, at A18 (2005).
Law Schools Are Bad for Democracy, Wall Street Journal at A16 (2004).
Nationhood and Judicial Supremacy, in (Wolfe, ed.) That Eminent Tribunal: Judicial Supremacy and the Constitution (Princeton University Press) (2004).
From U.S. v. Nixon to Bush v. Gore, Weekly Standard 20 (2000).
The High (and Mighty) Court, Wall Street Journal, June 30 at A18 (2000).

Book Chapters

Nagel (Stanley N. Katz), Judicial Power, in The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History 406 (2009).
Federalism and Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997), in, Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States (David S. Tanenhaus ed., Macmillan Reference USA) (2008).
Principle, Prudence, and Judicial Power, in The Judiciary and American Democracy: Alexander Bickel the Countermajoritarian Difficulty and Contemporary Constitutional Theory 9 (K. Ward ed., State University of New York Press) (2006).


Fall 2015 Seminar: Constitutional Theory LAWS 8015-001
Fall 2014 First Amendment LAWS 7015-001
Spring 2014 Seminar: Constitutional Theory LAWS 8015-801
Fall 2013 First Amendment LAWS 7015-001
Fall 2013 Seminar: Constitutional Theory LAWS 8015-001
Spring 2013 Constitutional Law LAWS 6005-802
Spring 2013 Seminar: Constitutional Theory LAWS 8015-801
Fall 2012 First Amendment LAWS 7015-001
Fall 2012 Seminar: Constitutional Theory LAWS 8015-001