David Skover

Fredric C. Tausend Professor of Law


Sullivan Hall 422
(206) 398-4011


A.B., Princeton University, 1974; Woodrow Wilson Scholar
J.D., Yale Law School, 1978; Yale Law Journal editor and note author
Clerk to Judge Jon O. Newman, U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit


Constitutional Law
Federal Courts
Mass Communications Theory
First Amendment and the Internet


Constitutional Law I (CNLW-200-E)
Conflict of Laws (CIVL-300-A)


Professor Skover is the co-author of several books: Tactics of Legal Reasoning (Carolina Academic Press, 1986) (with Pierre Schlag), The Death of Discourse (Westview Press, 1996; Carolina Academic Press, 2nd ed. 2005) (with Ronald K.L. Collins), The Trials of Lenny Bruce (Sourcebooks, 2002; Top Five Books, 2nd ed. 2012) (with Ronald K.L. Collins), Mania: The Story of the Outraged and Outrageous Lives That Launched a Cultural Revolution (Top Five Books, 2013) (with Ronald K.L. Collins), On Dissent: Its Meaning in America (Cambridge University Press, 2013) (with Ronald K.L. Collins), and a work-in-progress, The Judge: 26 Machiavellian Lessons.

In 2003, Skover and his coauthor, Ron Collins, successfully petitioned Governor Pataki of New York State to posthumously pardon Lenny Bruce. In 2004, Skover received the Washington ACLU First Amendment Award and Skover and Collins received the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award for The Trials of Lenny Bruce and their pardon effort.

Additionally, Professor Skover has authored or co-authored more than twenty-five scholarly articles in various journals, including the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Texas Law Review, The Nation magazine, and encyclopedia articles in Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (Macmillan, 1991), Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States (Macmillan, 2008), and Yale Bibliographical Dictionary of American Law (Yale University Press, 2009).

Professor Skover appears frequently on network affiliate television and has been quoted in the national popular press (e.g. NYT, WSJ, CSM, etc.) on a spectrum of issues ranging from constitutional law to pop media culture and theory. He also is a regionally acclaimed opera and musical theater performer. "Skover Online," his personal Web site, contains much more information on his books, articles, and presentations - and even includes selections from his musical theater recordings on the "Interests & Activities" page.


Publications and Presentations are found in Skover Online.

Recent Activity

In the News

Limiting freedom of speech on the internet is acceptable

November 26, 2018 | The Daily

Professor David Skover distinguishes government from private entities in debate over free speech.

Review: Is Law Political?

March 28, 2018 | The Wire

Professor David Skover's co-authored book, "The Judge," is the subject of an essay by a Madras, India, high court advocate.