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Rebecca Brown

Rebecca Brown

The Rader Family Trustee Chair in Law

Email:
Telephone: (213) 740-1892
Fax: (213) 740-5502
699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA Room: 430

Last Updated: June 5, 2017




Rebecca Latham Brown is a nationally recognized constitutional law theorist who joined USC Gould School of Law in August 2008. Brown’s scholarship focuses on judicial review and its relationship to individual liberty under the U.S. Constitution. She was named The Rader Family Trustee Chair in Law in 2015.

Brown received her BA from St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD) and her JD, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. She clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and U.S. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Spottswood W. Robinson III. Brown also worked in the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice and practiced with Onek, Klein & Farr in Washington, D.C. From 1988 to 2008, she was a professor at Vanderbilt University Law School, where she held the Allen Chair in Law from 2003 until her departure.

Brown recently published “How Constitutional Theory Found Its Soul: The Contributions of Ronald Dworkin,” in Exploring Law’s Empire (Hershovitz ed., Oxford University Press 2006), “The Logic of Majority Rule” (Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 2006) and “Confessions of a Flawed Liberal” (The Good Society 2005). She serves as co-chair of the American Constitution Society’s Constitution in the 21st Century Project.

Books

  • Constitutional Theory: Arguments and Perspectives (with Michael J. Gerhardt, Thomas D. Rowe, Jr., and Girardeau Spann) (Lexis Press 2d ed. 2000).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • "Judicial Supremacy and Taking Conflicting Rights Seriously," 58 William & Mary Law Review 1433 (2017). - (Hein)
  • “The Harm Principle and Free Speech,” 89 Southern California Law Review 953 (2016). - (SSRN)
  • “Rhetoric and Reality: Testing the Harm of Campaign Spending (with Andrew D. Martin),” 90 New York University Law Review 1066 (October 2015). - (SSRN)
  • “Common Good and Common Ground: The Inevitability of Fundamental Disagreement,” 81 University of Chicago Law Review 397 (Winter 2014). - (bepress)
  • “Making Democracy Safe for Justice: A Tribute to Ronald Dworkin,” 89 New York University Law Review 13 (April 2014). - (bepress)
  • “Deep and Wide: Justice Marshall’s Contributions to Constitutional Law,” 52 Howard Law Journal 637 (2009). - (Hein)
  • “Common Interests and Integration,” 52 St. Louis Law Journal 1131 (2008) (part of Childress Lecture and Symposium). - (Hein)
  • “Self-Government, Change, and Justice,” 1 Advance 83 (2007). - (www)
  • “How Constitutional Theory Found Its Soul: The Contributions of Ronald Dworkin,” in Exploring Law’s Empire: The Jurisprudence of Ronald Dworkin (Oxford University Press, 2006).
  • “The Logic of Majority Rule,” 2 Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 23 (2006). - (Hein)
  • “Confessions of a Flawed Liberal, reflections on the defensibility, from a liberal perspective, of government interference with certain types of expression,” 14 The Good Society (a PEGS Journal) No. 1-2, at 30 (2005).
  • “The Art of Reading Lochner,” 1 New York University Journal of Law & Liberty 570 (2005). - (SSRN)
  • “Calming Brown’s Critics: Still Queasy After All These Years,” 79 Peabody Journal of Education 33 (2004).
  • “History for the Non-Originalist,” 26 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 69 (2003) (contribution to a symposium entitled “Law and Truth: Originalism and Historical Truth”). - (Hein)
  • “Liberty, The New Equality,” 77 New York University Law Review 101 (2002). - (Hein)
  • “Activism is Not a Four-Letter Word,” 73 University of Colorado Law Review 1257 (2003) (contribution to a symposium entitled, “Conservative Judicial Activism”). - (Hein)
  • “A Government For the People,” 37 University of San Francisco Law Review 5 (2002) (contribution to a symposium discussing Constitutional Self-Government, a book by Princeton professor Christopher Eisgruber). - (Hein)
  • “Ode to Conservative Judicial Activism,” 18 Constitutional Commentary 479 (2002).
  • “Due Process,” Oxford Companion to American Law, Oxford University Press (2001).
  • Constitutional Theory: Arguments and Perspectives, 2d ed (with Michael J. Gerhardt, Thomas D. Rowe, Jr., and Girardeau Spann), Lexis Press, 2000.

FACULTY IN THE NEWS

The Washington Post
June 12, 2019
Re: Niels W. Frenzen

Niels W. Frenzen was quoted about the case of Scott Warren, an activist who was arrested and charged with harboring and conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants. In 2017, a directive from then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to prioritize cases involving the transportation of undocumented immigrants,"brought to a head the conflict between immigration enforcement and a sanctuary movement that reaches back to the 1980s," explained Frenzen. "While maintaining a spiritual element, the movement has become more political and less religious...especially as the Trump administration draws stark battle lines on immigration," he said. Frenzen's quote was also mentioned in the National Post, Daily Herald, Calgary Herald, Montreal Gazette, Leader Post, Ottawa Citizen, The London Free Press, The Star Phoenix, Canada.com, The Salt Lake Tribune, and The Province.

RECENT SCHOLARSHIP

Lisa Klerman
April, 2019

“Labor and Employment Law Jeopardy,” Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section Annual Retreat, Westlake Village, CA.

Hannah Garry
April, 2019

Hannah Garry co-facilitated "#MeToo" at the International Human Rights Clinicians Conference held at the Univeristy of Pennsylvania Law School.

Thomas D. Lyon
April, 2019

Tom Lyon received a one-year $250,000 grant from the California Office of Emergency Services Child Advocacy Center Program for his and his lab's interviewing work in the Los Angeles County Dependency Court.