THE TEXAS CONSTITUTION IN STATE AND NATION: COMPARATIVE STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW IN THE FEDERAL SYSTEM
By Charles W. "Rocky" Rhodes
A "competent and effective lawyer," according to the Conference of Chief Justices, must understand "both the federal Constitution and state constitutional law." The Texas Constitution in State and Nation: Comparative State Constitutional Law in the Federal System is designed to provide that understanding. Its melding of edited cases and extensive commentary on comparative constitutionalism creates not only an ideal primary or supplemental text for Texas law school or graduate courses on state constitutional law and government, but also a useful resource for Texas practitioners and judges. This book initially outlines the development of state constitutions in Texas and other states, describes the interrelationship of state and federal constitutionalism, and details federal influences on state constitutional law. It then proceeds to examine state judicial power, unique and dually protected state constitutional individual rights, separation of powers principles under state constitutions, and the roles of the state legislative and executive branches of government. The introductory materials in each chapter and the notes accompanying the edited cases integrate doctrine, practice, and theory, highlighting additional Texas authorities, comparative decisions from other states, and relevant legal theory from judges, practitioners, and scholars. The resulting combination of traditional casebook materials and perceptive commentary is both a valuable reference work and a dynamic teaching tool.
Charles W. "Rocky" Rhodes is the Vinson & Elkins Research Professor and Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law in Houston. He has coauthored two other books on constitutional law and authored more than twenty journal articles and book chapters on a variety of constitutional and procedural issues. Before joining academia, he served as a briefing attorney for Justice Raul Gonzalez and a staff attorney for Justice Greg Abbott at the Supreme Court of Texas, practiced in the appellate section of Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP (now Locke Lord LLP), and obtained his board certification in Civil Appellate Law from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He earned his undergraduate degree summa cum laude while on a National Merit Scholarship at Baylor University before enrolling at Baylor Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Baylor Law Review and valedictorian of his graduating law school class. During his career, he has participated as an attorney or an expert consultant in numerous proceedings addressing state constitutional issues.