Catherine J. Ross is Lyle T. Alverson Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School, where she specializes in constitutional law (with particular emphasis on the First Amendment) and family law, including legal and policy issues concerning children.
A Right to Lie? Presidents, Other Liars, and the First Amendment (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021) is Catherine’s second book on the First Amendment. Her prizewinning 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 of 2015 and received the Critics’ Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association.
A dynamic speaker, Catherine has been featured at major events at, among others, the Cato Institute (carried on BookTV), the Newseum, the National Constitution Center, and leading bookstores. She has been interviewed on numerous radio and cable programs and podcasts, ranging from NPR to The Young Turks network (two-part interview on impeachment). Her comments have appeared in national media including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, and Forbes as well as in international news in countries ranging from Ireland and Germany to Canada and Brazil, to Australia and Japan.
Catherine was a Member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton from 2008-2009. She spent 2015-2016 as a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
She has been 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.
In addition to being an expert on the First Amendment Catherine has written widely on families and children, and is co-author of Contemporary Family Law, now in its Fifth edition (West Academic, 2019). She was the primary author (with the Hon. A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.) the American Bar Association’s landmark report America’s Children at Risk: A National Agenda for Legal Action, presented at the White House in 1993. An elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Catherine is former chair of the ABA’s Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children, and has served on a wide variety of ABA committees. She is former chair of the Section on Law and Communitarianism of the Association of American Law Schools. Catherine has served on the editorial board of the Family Courts Review and the Family Law Quarterly.
Prior to entering legal academia, Catherine 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 law school, Catherine was on the faculty of the Yale Child Study Center (School of Medicine), and the Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale, where she had previously been a post-doctoral fellow and research associate.
A native New Yorker, Catherine was in the first class of women to graduate from Yale College. In addition to her B.A., she earned a Ph.D. (in History) and J.D. from Yale University.