Adam Winkler

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Adam Winkler
Adam Winkler
Born (1967-07-25) July 25, 1967 (age 56)
EducationGeorgetown University (BS)
New York University (JD)
University of California Los Angeles (MA)
Law professor
ParentIrwin Winkler

Adam Winkler (born July 25, 1967) is the Connell Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law. He is the author of We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights[1] and Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America.[2] His work has frequently been cited in judicial opinions, including in Supreme Court cases pertaining to the First and Second Amendments.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Winkler, born and raised in Los Angeles, is the youngest son of film producer Irwin Winkler. As a child, he had small acting parts in movies, including Martin Scorsese's New York, New York (1977).

He holds a Bachelor of Science in foreign service from Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law, and a master's degree in political science from UCLA, where he studied under Karen Orren.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Winkler practiced with Howard Weitzman and represented Michael Jackson in his defense against charges of sexual assault.[5] He also served as a law clerk to judge David Thompson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1995 to 1996.

Winkler was the John M. Olin fellow at the University of Southern California Law School from 2001 to 2002. He has taught at UCLA School of Law since 2002, receiving tenure in 2007.[5]


We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights

Winkler's book We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights[1] was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award for Nonfiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award, the California Book Award, and received the Scribes Book Award. The book chronicles the corporate rights movement: the two-hundred year effort by business corporations to achieve the same constitutional rights as ordinary people, culminating in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.[1] We the Corporations was listed as a Best or Notable Book of 2018 by the New York Times,[6] the Washington Post,[7] the Economist,[8] the San Francisco Chronicle,[9] and the Seattle Times.[10]

Winkler's writing on the right to bear arms, which recognizes both the individual right to possess firearms and the legitimacy of effective gun control, has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous lower courts.[11] His book Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America details the history of the right to bear arms and efforts to balance gun rights with gun safety laws in the United States since the country’s founding.[12]

Winkler has written extensively on legal history topics, such as the origins of campaign finance law,[13] the women's suffrage movement,[14] and the regulation of political parties.[15] He has also done quantitative research on constitutional law issues, including a study which challenged the legal maxim that strict scrutiny is "'strict' in theory, but fatal in fact," finding that federal courts upheld laws when applying the test in approximately 25% of cases.[16][17][18] Along with historian Leonard Levy and UCLA School of Law professor Kenneth Karst, Winkler edited the six-volume Encyclopedia of the American Constitution.[19]

Awards and honors[edit]

Winkler has won awards and honors for his work including the Scribes Book Award. His book We the Corporations also made him a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award for Nonfiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award, the California Book Award.[20] In 2018, his alma mater, NYU, awarded him its Law Teaching Award, which is given to teachers for their scholarship and dedication to the education and training of law students.[21] Winkler also currently serves on the board of directors at the Brennan Center for Justice.[22]


  1. ^ a b c "We the Corporations". Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  2. ^ "Winkler, Adam | UCLA Law". Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  3. ^ Farris, Nick; Aggerbeck, Valerie; McNevin, Megan; Sisk, Gregory C. (2016-08-18). "Judicial Impact of Law School Faculties". Rochester, NY. SSRN 2826048. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ "Adam David Winkler". IMDB. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Faculty Profiles > Full-Time Faculty > Adam Winkler" Archived 2014-05-07 at the Wayback Machine. UCLA School of Law.
  6. ^ "100 Notable Books of 2018". The New York Times. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 2023-02-12.
  7. ^ "100 Notable Books of 2018". 13 November 2018. Retrieved 2023-02-12.
  8. ^ "The Economist's books of the year". The Economist. Retrieved 2023-02-12.
  9. ^ "Year in review: The best books of 2018". Retrieved 2023-02-12.
  10. ^ "50 best nonfiction books of 2018". 7 December 2018. Retrieved 2023-02-12.
  11. ^ District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 691 (2008) (Breyer, J., dissenting); McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, 900 (2010) (Breyer, J., dissenting); U.S. v. Yancey, 621 F.3d 681, 685 (2010); U.S. v. McCane, 573 F.3d 1037, 1048 (2009); Wilson v. State, 207 P.3d 565, 585 (2009).
  12. ^ "Gunfight". Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  13. ^ Adam Winkler, "Other People's Money": Corporations, Agency Costs, and Campaign Finance Law, 92 Geo. L.J. 871 (2004)
  14. ^ Adam Winkler, A Revolution Too Soon: Woman Suffragists and the "Living Constitution", 76 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1456 (2001).
  15. ^ Adam Winkler, Voters' Rights and Parties' Wrongs: Early Political Party Regulation in the State Courts, 1886-1915, 100 Colum. L. Rev. 873 (2000).
  16. ^ Winkler's article has been cited over 300 times by works in numerous prestigious journals, including Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, and Stanford Law Review to name a few. See, e.g., Richard H. Fallon, Jr., Constitutionally Forbidden Legislative Intent, 130 Harv. L. Rev. 523, 576 (2016); Abbe R. Gluck, Intersystemic Statutory Interpretation: Methodology as Law and the Erie Doctrine, 120 Yale L.J. 1898, 1957 (2011); Ian F. Haney Lopez, "A Nation of Minorities": Race, Ethnicity, and Reactionary Colorblindness, 59 Stan. L. Rev. 985, 988 (2007).
  17. ^ Adam Winkler, Fatal in Theory and Strict in Fact: An Empirical Analysis of Strict Scrutiny in the Federal Courts, 59 Vand. L. Rev. 793 (2006).
  18. ^ Adam Winkler, Free Speech Federalism, 108 Mich. L. Rev. 153 (2009).
  19. ^ Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (Leonard W. Levy et al. eds., 2d ed. 2000).
  20. ^ "Winkler, Adam | UCLA Law". Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  21. ^ "NYU Law welcomed alumni back to campus for Reunion 2018 | NYU School of Law". Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  22. ^ "Winkler, Adam | UCLA Law". Retrieved 2020-11-21.

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