Adam Winkler

Connell Professorship of Law

  • B.S.F.S Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, 1990
  • J.D. New York University, 1993
  • M.A. UCLA (Political Science), 1998
  • Twitter: @adamwinkler
  • UCLA Faculty since 2002

Professor Adam Winkler is a specialist in American constitutional law, the Supreme Court, and gun policy. His book We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights (2018), was a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the American Bar Association's Legal Gavel Award, the California Book Award, and received the Scribes Award. He is also the author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America (2011), which won no awards but was the subject of a question on the popular game show Jeopardy!. His scholarship has been cited in landmark Supreme Court cases on the First and Second Amendments, and he is one of the twenty most cited law professors in judicial opinions today. His popular writing has appeared in the New York Times, New York Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New Republic, Atlantic, Slate, Scotusblog, and Daily Beast. He is a frequent commentator about legal issues and has appeared on Face the Nation, CNN, NBC Nightly News, C-SPAN, Newshour, ABC News, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Marketplace. He also served as co-editor of the Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (2d Edition).

The son of Academy Award-winning filmmaker Irwin Winkler, Adam was born and raised in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and New York University School of Law, which honored him with the Legal Teaching Award for outstanding alumni in legal academia. He also earned a master’s degree in political science (American Political Development) from UCLA under Professor Karen Orren. He clerked for David Thompson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and practiced law at Katten Muchin in Los Angeles, where he was on a litigation team that represented the late Michael Jackson in a highly publicized child-molestation case. This was more than enough to convince him to return to the ivory tower.

Prior to joining the UCLA faculty in 2002, Adam was the John M. Olin Fellow at the University of Southern California Law School’s Center in Law, Economics and Organization. He serves on the board of directors of the Brennan Center for Justice and the American Constitution Society.

About We the Corporations, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said, "It's a good book." And according to, "It is deeply shocking that We the Corporations is not boring." See a synopsis, reviews and upcoming events for We the Corporations.


  • Books
    • We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights. Liveright/W.W. Norton (2018). Book Info | Amazon
    • Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. W.W. Norton (2011).
    • Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (edited by Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst, Adam Winkler, et al). 2nd ed. Macmillan (2000). Amazon
  • Articles And Chapters
    • Bank of the United States v. Deveaux and the Birth of Constitutional Rights for Corporations, 43 Journal of Supreme Court History 237 (2019).
    • Is the Second Amendment Becoming Irrelevant?, 93 Indiana Law Journal 253 (2018).
    • Citizens United, Personhood, and the Corporation in Politics, in Corporations and American Democracy, (edited by Naomi Lamoreaux and William Novak, Harvard Univ. Press, 2017). Amazon
    • The Scope of Regulatory Authority Under the Second Amendment (with Lawrence Rosenthal), in Reducing Gun Violence in America, (edited by Daniel Webster & Jon Vernick, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2013).
    • Book Review, Law Enforcement's Flagrant Conduct, 48 Tulsa Law Review 275 (2012). Review of Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas, by Dale Carpenter.
    • Free Speech Federalism, 108 Michigan Law Review 153-188 (2009). Full Text
    • Heller's Catch-22, 56 UCLA Law Review 1551 (2009). Full Text
    • Book Review, Running on the Constitution, 8 Election Law Journal 151 (2009). Full Text
    • Book Review, 26 Law & History Review 441 (2008). Reviewing A Well-Regulated Militia, by Saul Cornell.
    • The Federal Government as a Constitutional Niche in Affirmative Action Cases, 54 UCLA Law Review 1931-61 (2007). Full Text
    • Corporate Personhood and the Rights of Corporate Speech, 30 Seattle University Law Review 863-73 (2007). Full Text
    • Scrutinizing the Second Amendment, 105 Michigan Law Review 683-733 (2007). Full Text
    • Fundamentally Wrong About Fundamental Rights, 23 Constitutional Commentary 277 (2006). Full Text
    • Fatal in Theory and Strict in Fact: An Empirical Analysis of Strict Scrutiny in the Federal Courts, 59 Vanderbilt Law Review 793-871 (2006). Full Text
    • The Reasonable Right to Bear Arms, 17 Stanford Law & Policy Review 597-613 (2006). Full Text
    • Corporate Law or the Law of Business? Stakeholders and Corporate Governance at the End of History, 67 Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems 109-33 (2004). Full Text
    • "Other People’s Money:" Corporations, Agency Costs, and Campaign Finance Law, 92 Georgetown Law Journal 871-940 (2004). Full Text
    • McConnell v. F.E.C., Corporate Political Speech, and the Legacy of the Segregated Fund Cases, 3 Election Law Journal 361-69 (2004). Full Text
    • A Revolution too Soon: Woman Suffragists & the Living Constitution, 76 NYU Law Review 1456-1526 (2001). Full Text
    • Voters’ Rights and Parties’ Wrongs: Early Political Party Regulation in the State Courts, 1886-1915, 100 Columbia Law Review 873 (2000). Full Text
    • The Corporation in Election Law, 32 Loyola Law Review 1243-72 (1999). Full Text
    • Just Sanctions, 21 Human Rights Quarterly 133 (1999). Full Text
    • Beyond Bellotti, 32 Loyola Law Review 133-220 (1998). Full Text
    • Book Review, 21 Ethnic & Racial Studies 1191 (1998). Reviewing Race, Law, and Culture: Reflections on Brown v. Board of Education, edited by Austin Sarat.
    • The Independence of Judges (with James B. Zagel), 46 Mercer Law Review 795-834 (1995). Full Text
    • Sounds of Silence: The Supreme Court and Affirmative Action, 28 Loyola Law Review 923-69 (1995). Full Text
    • Postmodernism and Dworkin: The View from Half-Court (with Joshua Davis), 17 Nova Law Review 799 (1993).
    • Expressive Voting, 68 NYU Law Review 330-88 (1993).
  • Shorter Writings
    • Corporate Political Conscience, New Republic (April 30, 2018).
    • 'Corporations are People' Is Built on a 19th-Century Lie, Atlantic (March 5, 2018).
    • What Rights Should Corporations Have?, Wall St. Journal (March 1, 2018).
    • Is the Supreme Court Backsliding on LGBT Rights?, New Republic (Dec. 26, 2017). Full Text
    • Concealed Carry Gun Bill Does More Harm Than Just 'Letting People Travel With Their Guns', NY Daily News (Dec. 12, 2017). Full Text
    • Of course we need to talk about gun violence in America, LA Times (Oct. 6, 2017). Full Text
    • Disarming the NRA, NYR Daily (Oct. 5, 2017). Full Text
    • Why Big Business Keeps Winning at the Supreme Court, The Washington Post (June 26, 2017). Full Text
    • Time for a ‘No Buy’ List on Guns, NY Times (June 13, 2016). Full Text
    • Why Banning Assault Rifles Won't Reduce Gun Violence, L.A. Times (Dec. 11, 2015). Full Text
    • The NRA Will Fall. It's Inevitable, The Washington Post (Oct. 19, 2015). Full Text
    • How to Change the Gun Debate, Huffington Post (Oct. 7, 2015). Full Text
    • What’s Missing From the Marriage Decision, Huffington Post (June 26, 2015). Full Text
    • Supremes’ Spat Over Affirmative Action, The Daily Beast (April 26, 2014). Full Text
    • Want Fewer Guns on California Streets? Open Carry May be the Answer, L.A. Times (Feb. 13, 2014). Full Text
    • If You Don't Think Newtown Changed America's Gun Debate, Consider These Facts, New Republic (Dec. 12, 2013). Full Text
    • Inspection Nation, NY Daily News (Sept. 22, 2013). Full Text
    • The Supreme Court’s Ruling and the End of the Civil Rights Era, The Daily Beast (June 25, 2013). Full Text
    • The Anti-Obama Court, Huffington Post (June 22, 2012). Full Text
    • The Secret History of Guns, The Atlantic (Sept. 2011). Full Text
    • The Guns of Academe, NY Times (April 14, 2011). Full Text