Cottrol, Robert J.

GW Law Faculty Publications

March 7, 2022

SSRN | Scholarly Commons


(With Brannon P. Denning.) To Trust the People with Arms: The Supreme Court and the Second Amendment (University Press of Kansas, 2023).

The Long, Lingering Shadow: Slavery, Race and Law in the American Hemisphere. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2013. 

With Diamond, Raymond T. and Leland B. Ware Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2003. 

From African to Yankee: Narratives of Slavery and Freedom in Antebellum New England. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 1998. 

Gun Control and the Constitution: Sources and Explorations on the Second Amendment. New York: Garland Publ., 1994. 

Gun Control and the Constitution: Sources and Explorations on the Second Amendment. New York: Garland Publ., 1993.
     Vol. 1, The Courts and Congress.
     Vol. 2, Partisans and Scholars: The Modern Debate.
     Vol. 3, Special Topics.

The Afro-Yankees: Providence's Black Community in the Antebellum Era. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982 


(With Raymond T. Diamond.) Helpless by Law: Enduring Lessons from a Century-Old Tragedy, Conn. L. Rev. Online Ed., May 2022, at 1,

(With Raymond T. Diamond.) Public Safety and the Right to Bear Arms, in The Bill of Rights in Modern America 73 (David J. Bodenhamer & James W. Ely eds., Indiana University Press, 3d 2022).  

Foreword to Stephen P. Halbrook, Securing Civil Rights: Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, at vii (Independent Institute, 2021).

(With George A. Mocsary.)  Guns, Bird Feathers, and Overcriminalization:  Why Courts Should Take the Second Amendment Seriously, 14 Geo. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 17 (2016).

Cardoso, Hamilton Bernardes (1953-1999); Fonseca, Bendicto (1963- ); Araújo, Ubiratan Castro de (1948-2013); Oliveira dos Santos, Carlos Alberto (1941-); Vicente, José (1959- ), Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography (Franklin W. Knight & Henry Louis Gates, Jr. eds., 2016).

"Second Amendment: Not Constitutional Dysfunction but Necessary Safeguard," 94 Boston University Law Review 835-848 (2014).

(With Diamond, Raymond T.) "In the Civic Republic: Crime, the Inner City, and the Democracy of Arms--Being a Disquisition on the Revival of the Militia at Large," 45 Connecticut Law Review 1605-1636 (2013).

(With Davis, Megan.) "Positive Discrimination, Affirmative Action with Respect to Gender and Race," in Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law. Ed. by Mark Tushnet, Thomas Fleiner, and Cheryl Saunders. London: Routledge, 2013.

Second Amendment, The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Political and Legal History (Donald T. Critchlow & Philip R. VanderMeer eds., 2012).

Developing Effective Legal Tools Against Racial Discrimination: Lessons from the U.S. Experience With Employment Discrimination, in Taller de Experto/as de la Temática Afrodescendientes en las Américas 51 (Organización de los Estados Americanos, 2010).

“The Difference that Brown Made,” in Choosing Equality:  Essays and Narratives on the Desegregation Experience, p. 98.  Ed. by Robert L. Hayman, Jr., and Leland Ware.  University Park, PA:  Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009.

Civil Rights Cases; Hall v. Decuir; Presser v. Illinois; Third Amendment, The Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions (Kermit L. Hall & James W. Ely, Jr., eds., 2d ed. 2009).

"Slavery: South and Central America," 5 The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History 253-256. Edited by Stanley N. Katz, et. al. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2009.

"The Right to Bear Arms," 1 The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History 216-222. Edited by Stanley Katz, et. al. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2009.

"Public Safety and the Right to Bear Arms," in The Bill of Rights in Modern America: Revised and Expanded, pp. 88-107. Edited by David J. Bodenhamer and James W. Ely. Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 2008.

“Coming Into their Own? The Afro-Latin Struggle for Equality and Recognition.” 28 Grassroots Development Journal (2007) (simultaneously published in Spanish translation: “La Lucha afrolatina por la equidad y el reconocimiento.” Desarrollo de Base (2007)).

"Normative Nominalism: The Paradox of Egalitarian Law in Inegalitarian Cultures--Some Lessons from Recent Latin-American Historiography." 81 Tulane Law Review 889-921 (2007).

"Civil Rights E Acao Afirmativa Nos Estados Unidos: Uma Visao Geral." 1 Revista de Direito do Estado 377 (July/September 2006).

Civil Rights Cases; Third Amendment; Woods, William Burnham; Stanberry, Henry; Williams, George Henry; Hall v. Decuir; Presser v. Illinois; Miller, Samuel Freeman; Second Amendment, The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (Kermit L. Hall, Jr., ed., 2d ed. 2005).

Robert Morris (1823-1882):  Civil Rights Activist, Lawyer, Africana:  The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience, (Kwame Anthony Appiah & Henry Lois Gates, Jr. eds., 2d ed. 2005).

"Lawrence Friedman: The Legal Historian and the Social Organization of Criminal Justice." (Symposium: The Scholarship of Lawrence M. Friedman). 40 Tulsa Law Review 627-638 (2005).

"Brown and the Contemporary Brazilian Struggle Against Racist Inequality: Some Preliminary Comparative Thoughts." 66 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 113-129 (2004).

"Justice Advanced: Comments on William Nelson's Brown v. Board of Education and the Jurisprudence of Legal Realism." 48 St. Louis University Law Journal 839-850 (2004).

"The Long Lingering Shadow: Law, Liberalism, and Cultures of Racial Hierarchy and Identity in the Americas." 76 Tulane Law Review 11-79 (2001).

Homeland Security: Restoring Civic Virtue, Am. Enterprise, Jan.-Feb. 2003, at 44.

"Death and Deterrence: Notes on a Still Inchoate Judicial Inquiry." in Statistical Science in the Courtroom, edited by Joseph L. Gastwirth. New York: Springer, 2000.

Robert Morris, American National Biography (John A. Garraty & Mark C. Carnes eds., 1999).

"A Liberal Democrat's Lament: Gun Control is Racist, Sexist & Classist." 10 American Enterprise 58 (Sept/Oct, 1999).

"Taking Second Amendment Rights Seriously." 26 Human Rights 5 (Fall, 1999).

"Submission is Not the Answer: Lethal Violence, Microcultures of Criminal Violence and the Right to Self-Defense." ('Crime is Not the Problem: Lethal Violence in America': Issues Arising from the New Book by Frankllin E. Zimring & Gordon Hawkins). 69 University of Colorado Law Review 1029-1080 (1998).

(with Volokh, Eugene). "The Second Amendment as Teaching Tool in Constitutional Law Classes." 48 Journal of Legal Education 591 (1998).

"Comparative Slave Studies: Urban Slavery as a Model, Traveler's Accounts as a Source." 8 Journal of Black Studies, no. 3 (1997).

"Outlawing Outcasts: Comparative Perspectives on the Differing Functions of the Criminal Law of Slavery in the Americas." (Symposium on Bondage, Freedom and the Constitution: The New Slavery Scholarship and its Impact on Law and Legal Historiogaphy, Part II). 18 Cardozo Law Review 717 (1996).

"Through a Glass Diversely: The O.J. Simpson Trial as Racial Rorschach Test." (Symposium on the O.J. Simpson Trial). 67 University of Colorado Law Review 909 (1996).

(with Diamond, Raymond T.). "Never Intended to be Applied to the White Population: Firearms Regulation and Racial Disparity." (Symposium on the Law of Freedom, Part 2). 70 Chicago-Kent Law Review 1307-1335 (1995).

"The Civil Rights Act of 1957." "The Civil Rights Act of 1960." "The Civil Rights Act of 1964." in Encyclopedia of the American Presidency, edited by Leonard W. Levy & Louis Fischer. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

"Commentary: Perspectives on Fugitive Slaves from Legal and Social History." 24 Rutgers Law Journal 695 (1993).

"Law, Labor and Liberal Ideology: Exploration on the History of the Two Edged Sword - Review Essay." 67 Tulane Law Review 1531 (1993).

"Legal Scholarship and Interdisciplinary Inquiry: A Compelling Combination for Minority Scholars." (Symposium on Minority Legal Scholarship). 38 Loyola Law Review 83 (1992).

"Reconstruction Amendment Historiography: The Quest for Racial and Intellectual Maturity." (Special Symposium: The Reconstruction Amendments: Then and Now). 23 Rutgers Law Journal 249 (1992).

"The Second Amendment." "The Third Amendment." "The Civil Rights Cases." "Hall v. DeCuir." "Samuel Freeman Miller." "Henry Stanbery." "George H. Williams." "William Burnham Woods." "Presser v. Illinois." in The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, edited by Kermit Hall, et al. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

(Moderator, with Bruce J. Einhorn & Arthur Helton). "Holocaust and Human Rights Law: The Third International Conference; Special Topics in United States Immigration Policy." 9 Boston College Third World Law Journal 203 (1991).

"In the Search for Justice: Passion and Historiography of Law and Race in the Writings of Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr." (Symposium honoring Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.). 9 Law and Inequality: a Journal of Theory and Practice 441 (1991).

"Multicultural Education and Ideas about how to do it Right." 15 (3) American Educator 15 (Winter, 1991).

(with Diamond, Raymond T.). "The Second Amendment: Toward an Afro-American Reconsideration." 80 Georgetown Law Journal 309 (1991).
     Reprinted in Gun Control and the Constitution, Vol., 3, Special Topics, edited by Robert J. Cottrol. Garland Press, 1993.

"America the Multicultural." 14 (4) American Educator 18 (Winter, 1990).

"Want Gun Control? Enforce the Second Amendment!" 138 (3) American Rifleman 21 (1990).

"The Thirteenth Amendment and the North's Overlooked Egalitarian Heritage." 11 National Black Law Journal 198 (1989).

"A Tale of Two Cultures: Or Making the Proper Connections between Law, Social History and the Political Economy of Despair." 25 San Diego Law Review 989 (1988).

"Liberalism and Paternalism: Ideology, Economic Interest and the Business Law of Slavery." 31 American Journal of Legal History 359 (1987).

"Law, Politics and Race in Urban America: Towards a New Synthesis." (Symposium on Historical Race Relations). 17 Rutgers Law Journal 483 (1986).
     Reprinted in Race, Law and American History, 1700-1990: The African-American Experience. Vol. 4, The Age of Jim Crow, edited by Paul Finkelman. Garland Press, 1992.

"Static History and Brittle Jurisprudence: Raoul Berger and the Problem of Constitutional Methodology." 26 Boston College Law Review 353 (1985).

(with Diamond, Raymond T.) "Codifying Caste: Louisiana's Racial Classification Statute and the Fourteenth Amendment." 29 Loyola Law Review 255 (1983).
     Reprinted in Race, Law and American History, 1700-1990: The African-American Experience. Vol. 4, The Age of Jim Crow, edited by Paul Finkelman. Garland Press, 1992.

"In Search of Afro-Yankee History." The New England Journal of Black Studies, (Fall, 1983).

"Providence's Black Voters and the Dilemma of the 1848 Election." Souther Studies, special issue on Antebellum Free Blacks (Fall 1982).

"Comparative Slave Studies:  Urban Slavery as a Model, Traveler's Accounts as a Source." 8 Journal of Black Studies 3-12 (1977).


Book Review, 103 Hisp. Am. Hist. Rev. 331 (2023) (reviewing Adriana Chira, Patchwork Freedoms: Law, Slavery, and Race Beyond Cuba's Plantations (2022)).

Cottrol on Sheinin and Bryce, ‘Race and Transnationalism in the Americas,’ Humanities & Soc. Scis. Online: H-LatAm (Apr. 2022) (book review),

The Journey to Separate But Equal: Madame Decuir’s Quest for Racial Justice in the Reconstruction Era, 53 J. Interdisc. Hist. 162 (2022) (book review).

The Princeton Fugitive Slave: The Trials of James Collins Johnson, 107 J. Am. Hist. 1002(2021) (book review).

Comparative Legal History of Slavery, 78 The Americas 166 (2021) (reviewing  Alejandro de la Fuente & Ariela J. Gross, Becoming Free, Becoming Black: Race, Freedom and Law in Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana (2020)).

Hendrik Hartog. the Trouble with Minna: A Case of Slavery and Emancipation in the Antebellum North, 125 Am. Hist. Rev. 1024 (2020) (book review).

Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America, 106 J. Am. History 176 (2019) (book review).

Book Review, 38 J. Early Republic 373 (2018) (reviewing Daniel W. Crofts, Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery: The Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union (2016)).

Book Review, 87 Pacific Hist. Rev. 174 (2018) (reviewing Ben Keppel, Brown v. Board and the Transformation of American Culture:  Education and the South in the Age of Desegregation (2016)).

Making Race in the Courtroom:  The Legal Construction of Three Races in Early New Orleans, 103 J. Am. History 17 (2016) (book review).

The Myth of Race:  The Troubling and Persistence of an Unscientific Idea, 49 J. Soc. Hist. 740 (2016).

"The Resurgent Second Amendment." Review of To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face: Libertarian Political Violence and the Origins of the Militia Movement, by Robert H. Churchill, and Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America, by Adam Winkler. 47 Tulsa Law Review 1-11 (2011).

"Beyond Invisibility: Afro-Argentines in their Nation's Culture and Memory." Review of Buenos Aires Negra, by Daniel Schavelzon, The Afro-Argentine in Argentine Culture, by Donald S. Castro, & Identidades Secretas, by Alejandro Solomianski. 42 Latin American Research Review 139-156 (2007).

"Normative nominalism: the paradox of egalitarian law in inegalitarian cultures - some lessons from recent Latin-American historiography," ‎81 Tulane Law Review 889 (2007).

"Surprise Heirs I: Illegitimacy, Patrimonial Rights and Legal Nationalism in Luso-Brazilian Inheritance, 1750–1821 and Surprise Heirs II: Illegitimacy Inheritance Rights and Public Power in the Formation of Imperial Brazil, 1822–1889," 49 American Journal of Legal History 484 (2007).

Review of Slavery in the Development of the Americas, ed. By David Eltis et. al., and The Chattel Principle: Internal Slave Trades in the Americas, ed. By Walter Johnson, 29 Itinerario: International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction 125-127 (2005).

"From Emancipation to Equality: The Afro-Latin's Unfinished Struggle." Review of Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000, by George Reid Andrews. 57 American Quarterly 573-581 (2005).

Review of The Militia and the Right to Arms, or How the Second Amendment Fell Silent, by H. Richard Uviller & William G. Merkel. 81 North Carolina Historical Review 487 (2004).

"Finality with Ambivalence: The American Death Penalty's Uneasy History." Review of The Death Penalty: An American History, by Stuart Banner. 56 Stanford Law Review 1641-1673 (2004).

The Morality Behind the Second Amendment, Am. Enterprise, Mar. 2002, at 55 (reviewing Jeff Snyder, A Nation of Cowards:  Essays on the Ethics of Gun Control (2001)).

"Creative Uncertainty." Review of American Law in the Twentieth Century, by Lawrence M. Friedman. 81 Texas Law Review 627-654 (2002).

"Structure, Participation, Citizenship, and Right: Lessons from Akhil Amar's Second and Fourteenth Amendments." Review of The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction, by Akhil Reed Ahmar. 87 Georgetown Law Journal 2307-2325 (1999).

Review of The Price of Freedom, by T. Stephen Whitman. 85 Journal of American History 222 (1998).

(with Diamond, Raymond T.).  Review of The Rosewood Massacre: The Untold Story. 103 American Historical Review 635 (1998).

"Clashing Traditions: Civil Law and Common Law and the American Culture of Slave Governance." Reviews of Southern Slavery and the Law, 1619-1860, by Thomas D. Morris, and Slavery, the Civil Law, and the Supreme Court of Louisiana, by Judith Kelleheer Schafer. 19 Slavery and Abolition 150 (1998).

"Hard Choices and Shifted Burdens: American Crime and American Justice at the End fo the Century." Review of Malign Neglect: Race, Crime and Punishment in America, by Michael Tonry. 65 George Washington Law Review 506-529 (1997).

"The Fifth Auxiliary Right." Review of To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an Anglo-American Rights, by Joyce Lee Malcolm. 104 Yale Law Journal 995 (1995).

Review of Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America, by Gary Kleck. 19 Criminal Justice Review 131 (1994).

Review of Crime and Punishment in American History, by Lawrence M. Friedman. Legal Times of Washington (February 14, 1994).

Review of The Virginia Supreme Court, Blacks, and the Law, 1870-1902, by Samuel N. Pincus. 37 American Journal of Legal History 388 (1993).

Review of Slave Law in the Americas, by Alan Watson. 13 Slavery and Abolition 110 (1992).

Review of Postmortem: New Evidence in the Case of Sacco and Vanzetti, by William Young. 9 Law and History Review 160 (1991).

Review of The Fourteenth Amendment: From Political Principle to Judicial Doctrine, by William E. Nelson. 76 Journal of American History 1277 (1990).

Review of A Rage for Order: Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation, by Joel Williamson, and White by Definition: Social Classification in Creole Louisiana, by Virginia R. Dominquez. 21 Law and Society Review 865 (1988).

Review of Zechariah Chaffee, Jr.: Defender of Liberty and Law, by Donald L. Smith. 61 New England Quarterly 271 (1988).

Review of Law School: Legal Education in American from the 1850's to the 1980's, by Robert Stevens. 4 Law and History Review 205 (1986)

Review of Capitalism, Slavery and Republican Values, by A. Kaufman. 12 History: Reviews of New Books 67 (1984).

(with Diamond, Raymond T.).  Review of In the Matter of Color, by A. Leon Higginbotham. 56 Tulane Law Review 1107 (1982).

Review of Myne Owne Ground: Race and Freedom on Virginia's Eastern Shore, 1640-1676, by T.H. Breen. 47 Journal of Southern History 429 (1981).

Review of Reformed America: The Middle and Southern States, 1783-1837, by F.J. Hood. 10 History: Reviews of New Books 36 (1981).

Review of Africans and Creeks: From the Colonial Period to the Civil War, by D. Littlefield. 8 History: Reviews of New Books 161 (1980).

Review of Slavery Remembered: A Record of 20th Century Slave Narratives, by P. Escott. 40 Journal of Economic History 217 (1980).

Review of Black Religions in the New World, by G. Simpson. 7 History: Reviews of New Books 195 (1979).

Review of The Rise and Fall of the Plantation South, by R. Luraghi. 53 Agricultural History 514 (1979).

Review of Black Leaders in Conflict, by P.J. Paris. 45 Journal of Southern History 152 (1979).

"Heroism and the Origins of Afro-American History," 51 New England Quarterly 256 (1978).

Review of James T. Rapier and Reconstruction, by L. Schweninger. 7 History: Reviews of New Books 17 (1978).

Review of Race Relations in the Urban South, 1865-1890, by H.N. Rabinowitz. 6 History: Reviews of New Books 188 (1978).

Review of Slave Testimony, by J.W. Blassingame. 24 Civil War History 91 (1978).

Review of Modernization: The Transformation of American Life: 1600-1865, by R.D. Brown. 51 New England Quarterly 273 (1978).

Review of The African Dream: Martin R. Delaney and the Emergence of Pan-African Thought, by Cyril Griffith. 94 Pennsylvania History 280 (1977).

Review of Race First, by Tony Martin. 5 History: Reviews of New Books 85 (1977).

Review of Night Riders in Black Folk History, by Gladys-Marie Fry. 59 Georgia Historical Quarterly 353 (1975).


Challenging the Monopoly of Arms: Reflections on Sandy Levinson and the Embarrassing Second Amendment, Balkinization (Nov. 29, 2022, 9:30 AM),

Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2021, The Federalist Society (Sept. 22, 2021),

Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2019?, The Federalist Society (Oct. 2, 2019),

“AHA Member Spotlight: Robert Cottrol.” AHA Today, May 16, 2012.

"McDonald--Incorporation, Irony, and History," SCOTUSblog (June 29, 2010, 5:26 PM),

"Dead Wrong: When Life Hangs in the Balance, Traditional Procedure Isn't Enough." 29 Legal Times, no. 9, p. 68-69 (Feb. 27, 2006).

Going the Distance: Law as a Tool for Wielding Influence over Vast Territories. (Panel Discussion sponsored by the AALS Section on Legal History, AALS annual meeting, 2001). Millersville, MD: Recorded Resources Corp., 2001.

(With Diamond, Raymond T.). "Second Amendment Cannot be Ignored." 14 Legal Times 24 (May 27, 1991).