Catherine J. Ross

Catherine Ross
Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Catherine J. Ross specializes in constitutional law (with particular emphasis on the First Amendment), family law, and legal and policy issues concerning children. Her book, Lessons in Censorship: How Schools and Courts Subvert Students' First Amendment Rights (Harvard University Press, 2015) was named the Best Book on the First Amendment by Concurring Opinions’ First Amendment News, and won the Critics’ Choice Book Award from the American Education Studies Association. Professor Ross has been a co-author of Contemporary Family Law (Thomson/West) since the First Edition; the Fourth Edition was published in 2015. 

In 2015-2016, Professor Ross was a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard School of Education. She was a Member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton from 2008-2009. Professor Ross has taught as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Boston College (where she held joint appointments in the School of Education and the History Department) and St. John’s School of Law in New York. 

An elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Professor Ross is former chair of the ABA’s Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children, former chair of the Section on Law and Communitarianism of the Association of American Law Schools, and has served on a wide variety of ABA committees. She has served on the editorial boards of the Family Courts Review and the Family Law Quarterly.

Prior to entering legal academia, Professor Ross was a litigator at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York, where she won major impact litigation on behalf of the city’s homeless population. Before attending Yale Law School, Professor Ross was on the faculty of the Yale Child Study Center, and the Bush Center on Child Development and Social Policy at Yale. 

Professor Ross teaches Constitutional Law, Family Law, and Child, Family and State.

Curriculum Vitae     Publications


BA, PhD, JD, Yale University

In the News

"School District Says It Was Only Dismissed from Lawsuit Involving Student Expelled for Refusing to Stand for Pledge"

December 28, 2018

Catherine J. Ross is quoted by Law & Crime about how the Texas lawsuit over a school principal expelling a student because she refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance rests on the landmark 1943 U.S. Supreme Court case West Virginia v. Barnette.

“Why Wisconsin High-Schoolers Aren't Being Punished for Mimicking a Nazi Salute”

November 27, 2018
Catherine J. Ross is quoted by The Atlantic about whether a school is able to discipline its students for making the Nazi gesture.

“CNN Sues Trump Administration for Revoking Jim Acosta's Credentials”

November 13, 2018

Catherine J. Ross is quoted by The Washington Times on how the White House press pass cannot be denied on the basis of viewpoint.

"Trump Has Made a Criminal Offense" (In German)

August 22, 2018

Catherine J. Ross is interviewed by n-tv on the latest on Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. English Translation

"First, She Took a Knee to Call Out Injustice. Now, This 11-Year-Old Is Fighting for Her Own Rights."

May 18, 2018

Catherine J. Ross is quoted in The Washington Post about the student who was reprimanded for kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance.