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Ashutosh Bhagwat

Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law


J.D., University of Chicago Law School 1990

B.A., summa cum laude History, Yale University 1986, Phi Beta Kappa


Ash Bhagwat joined the UC Davis School of Law faculty in 2011. Prior to joining UC Davis, he taught at UC Hastings College of the Law for seventeen years. Bhagwat is the author of The Myth of Rights, published by the Oxford University Press in 2010, as well as numerous books, articles, and book chapters on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from the structure of constitutional rights, to free speech law, to the California Electricity Crisis. Journals his articles have appeared in include the Yale Law Journal, the Supreme Court Review, the California Law Review, the Administrative Law Review, and the University of Illinois Law Review.

Bhagwat is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale University, where he received a B.A. with Honors in History.  He is also a graduate of The University of Chicago Law School, where he served as Articles Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review.  He then completed clerkships with Judge Richard A. Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court.  Prior to joining the Hastings faculty, Bhagwat practiced appellate and regulatory law for two years in the Washington, D.C. offices of the Sidley & Austin law firm.

In May of 2011, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Bhagwat to serve on the Board of Governors of the California Independent System Operator, a public benefit corporation responsible for running the high-voltage electricity grid in California.  In 2003, he was awarded the Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence at UC Hastings. Bhagwat is a member of the American Law Institute.

Subject Areas

Administrative Law, Antitrust, Constitutional Law, Energy Law, Law And Economics, Regulated Industries, Supreme Court, Telecommunications Law

Selected Career Highlights

  • Board of Governors, California Independent System Operator
  • Professor of Law, UC Hastings
  • Clerkship, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Clerkship, Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • 2003 Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence

Selected Publications

Reed v. Town of Gilbert: Signs of (Dis)Content?, 9 N.Y.U. J. L. & Liberty __ (forthcoming 2015)

Producing Speech, 56 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2015)

Religious Associations: Hosanna-Tabor and the Instrumental Value of Religious Groups, 92 Wash. U. L. Rev. 73 (2014)

Truthiness: Corporate Public Figures and the Problem of Harmful Truths, 99 Minn. L. Rev. 297 (2014)

Terrorism and Associations, 63 Emory L.J. 581 (2014)

Details: Specific Facts and the First Amendment, 86 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1 (2012)

The Myth of Rights: The Purposes and Limits of Constitutional Rights, (Oxford 2010)

Teacher's Manual to Stone, Seidman, Sunstein, Tushnet & Karlan, Constitutional Law, 6th ed., (Aspen 2009) (with Mark Tushnet)

Teacher's Manual to Stone, Seidman, Sunstein, Tushnet & Karlan, Constitutional Law, 5th ed., (Aspen 2005) (with Mark Tushnet)

Teacher's Manual to Stone, Seidman, Sunstein, Tushnet & Karlan, Constitutional Law, 4th ed., (Aspen 2001) (with Mark Tushnet)

The Story of Whitney v. California: The Power of Ideas in Michael C. Dorf, ed., Constitutional Law Stories, 2nded., (Foundation 2009)

Affirmative Action and Benign Discrimination in Vikram David Amar and Mark V. Tushnet, eds., Global Perspectives on Constitutional Law, (Oxford University Press 2009)

The Story of Whitney v. California: The Power of Ideas in Michael C. Dorf, ed., Constitutional Law Stories, (Foundation 2004)

Associations and Forums: Situating CLS v. Martinez, 38 Hastings Con. L. Q. 543 (2011)

Associational Speech, 120 Yale L.J. 978 (2011)

A Brief History of the Commercial Speech Doctrine (With Some Implications for Tobacco Regulation), 2 Hastings Science & Technology L. J. 103 (2010)

Wyeth v. Levine and Agency Preemption: More Muddle, or Creeping to Clarity?, 45 Tulsa L. Rev. 197 (2009)

Cooper v. Aaron and the Faces of Federalism, 52 St. Louis U. L.J. 1087 (2008)

The Test That Ate Everything: Intermediate Scrutiny in First Amendment Jurisprudence, 2007 U. Ill. L. Rev. 783

Brief of Constitutional Law Professors, David L. Faigman and Ashutosh A. Bhagwat, et al., as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondents in Gonzales v. Carhart and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood, Nos. 05-380, 05-1382(Introduction and Published Brief to United States Supreme Court), 34 Hastings Con. L. Q. 69 (2006) (with David L. Faigman and Kathryn M. Davis)

What If I Want My Kids to Watch Pornography?: Protecting Children from “Indecent” Speech, 11 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rt.s J. 671 (2003)

Institutions and Long Term Planning: Lessons from the California Electricity Crisis, 55 Admin. L. Rev. 95 (2003)

Cloning and Federalism, 53 Hastings L.J. 1133 (2002)

Affirmative Action and Compelling Interests: Equal Protection Jurisprudence at the Crossroads, 4 U. Penn. J. Con. L. 260 (2002)

Injury Without Harm: Texas v. Lesage and the Strange World of Article III Injuries, 28 Hastings Con. L. Q. 445 (2001)

Parking at BART, or Economics and Its Discontents, 4 Green Bag 2d 7 (2000)

Separate But Equal?: The Supreme Court, the Lower Federal Courts, and the Nature of the “Judicial Power”, 80 B.U. L. Rev. 967 (2000)

Unnatural Competition?: Applying the New Antitrust Learning to Foster Competition in the Local Exchange, 50 Hastings L.J. 1479 (1999)

Modes of Regulatory Enforcement and the Problem of Administrative Discretion, 50 Hastings L.J. 1275 (1999)

The McCleskey Puzzle: Remedying Prosecutorial Discrimination Against Black Victims in Capital Sentencing, 1998 S. Ct. Rev. 111 (with Evan Tsen Lee)

Hard Cases and the (D)Evolution of Constitutional Doctrine, 30 Conn. L. Rev. 961 (1998)

Purpose Scrutiny in Constitutional Analysis, 85 Cal. L. Rev. 297 (1997)

Three-Branch Monte, 72 Notre Dame L. Rev. 157 (1996)

Of Markets and Media: The First Amendment, the New Mass Media, and the Political Components of Culture, 74 N.C. L. Rev. 141 (1995)