Charles W. “Rocky” Rhodes

Vinson & Elkins Research Professor and Professor of Law

B.B.A., Baylor University
J.D., Baylor University School of Law

Areas of Expertise

  • Constitutional Law
  • Federal and State Civil Procedure
  • Federal Courts and Jurisdiction
  • Texas Constitutional Law

rrhodes@stcl.edu

713-646-2918

Office: 718T

Charles W. “Rocky” Rhodes is Professor of Law and the former holder of the Vinson & Elkins LLP Research Professorship and the Godwin Ronquillo PC Research Professorship at South Texas College of Law Houston. His teaching and scholarship focuses on the United States Constitution, state constitutions, and judicial power and procedure.

He is the author or co-author of four textbooks and treatises on constitutional law and state constitutional law, including The Texas Constitution in State and Nation: Comparative State Constitutional Law in the Federal System, Skills & Values: The First Amendment, and Questions & Answers: Constitutional Law. His extensive writings also include more than thirty journal articles, book supplements, and chapters on a wide variety of constitutional and procedural issues, such as due process rights, free speech protections, state constitutionalism, constitutional interpretation, judicial appointments, personal jurisdiction, federal practice, mandamus proceedings, and appellate procedure. His articles, books, and chapters have considerable influence with commentators, practitioners, and courts, with his scholarship cited hundreds of times in judicial decisions, treatises, textbooks, law journals, and legal briefs.

He is frequently in demand as a media commentator, including television and radio appearances on international, national, and statewide outlets such as CNN Newsroom, NPR’s Morning Edition, BBC Radio’s World Business Report, NPR’s Day to Day, Bloomberg Radio, Texas State Radio Network, Nevada Public Radio, and Public Media’s Texas Standard, along with interviews in newspapers and magazines across the globe, including the Associated Press and Canadian Press as well as the Washington Post, USA Today, Daily Mirror (U.K.), Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Times, Christian Science Monitor, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, ABA Journal, BNA U.S. Law Week, American Lawyer, Danish Mandag Morgen, and Washington Examiner.

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, the President’s Award recipient as the outstanding third-year student, and valedictorian of his graduating law school class. Before becoming a professor, he served as a briefing attorney for Justice Raul Gonzalez and as a staff attorney for Justice Greg Abbott at the Supreme Court of Texas, practiced appellate law at the national law firm now known as Locke Lord LLP, and earned his board certification in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He remains actively involved in professional practice, testifying before legislatures and authoring numerous amicus briefs on a variety of constitutional and procedural topics.


ARTICLES

Loving Retroactivity, 45 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 383 (2018).

The Business Of Personal Jurisdiction, 67 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 775 (2017). (with Cassandra Burke Robertson)

A Shifting Equilibrium: Personal Jurisdiction, Transnational Litigation, and the Problem of Nonparties, 19 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 643 (2015) (with Cassandra Burke Robertson).

Toward a New Equilibrium in Personal Jurisdiction , 48 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 207 (2014). (with Cassandra Burke Robertson).

The First Amendment Structure for Speakers and Speech , 44 Seton Hall L. Rev. 395 (2014).

Speech, Subsidies, and Traditions: AID v. AOSI and the First Amendment , 2012-13 Cato Sup. Ct. Rev. 363 (2013).

Nineteenth Century Personal Jurisdiction Doctrine in a Twenty-First Century World , 64 Fla. L. Rev. 387 (2012).

What Conservative Constitutional Revolution? Moderating Five Degrees of Judicial Conservatism After Six Years of the Roberts Court , 64 Rutgers L. Rev. 1 (2011).

Navigating the Path of the Supreme Appointment , 38 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 537 (2011).

Rethinking Personal Jurisdiction Over The World-Wide Web , 52 The Advoc. 53 (2010).

Liberty, Substantive Due Process, and Personal Jurisdiction , 82 Tul. L. Rev. 567 (2007).

Public Employee Speech Rights Fall Prey to an Emerging Doctrinal Formalism , 15 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 1173 (2007).

Attorney’s Fees in Common-Fund Class Actions: A View from the Federal Circuits , 35 The Advoc. 56 (2006).

The Source of Conflicts in Texas Personal Jurisdiction Doctrine , 18 App. Advoc., Wint. 2006, at 3.

The Predictability Principle in Personal Jurisdiction Doctrine: a Case Study on the Effects of a “Generally”” Too Broad, but “Specifically” Too Narrow Approach to Minimum Contacts , 57 Baylor L. Rev. 135 (2005).

Clarifying General Jurisdiction , 34 Seton Hall L. Rev. 807 (2004).

Civil Procedure Fifth Circuit Survey, June 2001-May 2002 , 34 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 571 (2003).

Civil Procedure Fifth Circuit Survey, June 2000-May 2001 , 33 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 685 (2002).

A Proposal for Interpreting Corresponding United States and Texas Constitutional Guarantees in the New Millennium , 51 Baylor L. Rev. 269 (1999).

Demystifying the Extraordinary Writ: Substantive and Procedural Requirements for the Issuance of Mandamus , 29 St. Mary’s L.J. 525 (1998).

Broad Form Submissions and Spencer v. Eagle Star Insurance Company : the Death of the Immaterial Issue , 46 Baylor L. Rev. 841 (1994).

BOOKS

Questions & Answers: Constitutional Law, 3d ed. (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press 2017) (with Paul E. McGreal and Linda S. Eads).

The Texas Constitution in State and Nation: Comparative State Constitutional Law in the Federal System . (Vandeplas Publishing 2014).

Skills & Values: The First Amendment. 2nd ed. (Newark, NJ: LexisNexis, 2013). (with Paul E. McGreal)

Skills & Values: The First Amendment . Rev. 1st. ed. (Newark, NJ: LexisNexis, 2012). (with Kathleen Bergin)

Skills & Values: The First Amendment . (Newark, NJ: LexisNexis, 2010). (with Kathleen Bergin)

Cases and Materials on Constitutional Law . 5th ed. (Newark, NJ: LexisNexis, 2009). (with David Crump, Eugene Gressman & David Day)

CHAPTERS

2015 Cumulative Supplement, Jennifer Friesen, State Constitutional Law: Litigating Individual Rights, Claims, and Defenses, 4th ed. (Matthew Bender & Co., 2006) (two volumes)

2014 Cumulative Supplement, Jennifer Friesen, State Constitutional Law: Litigating Individual Rights, Claims, and Defenses, 4th ed. (Matthew Bender & Co., 2006) (two volumes)

2013 Cumulative Supplement, Cases and Materials on Constitutional Law, 5th ed. (Newark, NJ: LexisNexis, 2009) (with David Crump, Eugene Gressman, and David Day)

2013 Cumulative Supplement, Jennifer Friesen, State Constitutional Law: Litigating Individual Rights, Claims, and Defenses, 4th ed. (Matthew Bender & Co., 2006) (two volumes)

2012 Cumulative Supplement, Cases and Materials on Constitutional Law, 5th ed. (Newark, NJ: LexisNexis, 2009) (with David Crump, Eugene Gressman, and David Day)

2008 Supplement, Cases and Materials on Constitutional Law. 4th ed. (Neward, NJ: LexisNexis, 2008). (with David Crump, Eugene Gressman & David Day)

The Impact of American Lockean Constitutional Theory on Economic Markets , in Selected Essays on Current Legal Issues 49 (David A Frenkel & Carsten Gerner-Beuerle eds.) (Athens: ATINER, 2008).

Civil Liberties under State Constitutions, Modern History , in 3 Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties 1544 (Paul Finkelman ed.) (New York: Routledge, 2006).

State Constitution, Privacy Provisions , in 3 Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties 1531 (Paul Finkelman ed.) (New York: Routledge, 2006).

COMMENTARIES

State Constitutional First Principles in Challenging the Texas Voter Photo Identification Law , JURIST – Academic Commentary, Oct. 29, 2014, http://jurist.org/forum/2014/10/charles-rhodes-texas-voterid.php .

Violence, Gamers, and Free Speech: Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, 2012 Emerging Issues 6375 (LexisNexis June 2012).

Legislative Voting and the Limits of Speech in Nevada Commission on Ethics v. Carrigan, 2012 Emerging Issues 6374 (LexisNexis June 2012).

Funeral Mourning and Protesting: Snyder v. Phelps, 2011 Emerging Issues 6161 (LexisNexis Dec. 2011).

Balancing Freedom of Speech and National Security in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 2010 Emerging Issues 5393 (LexisNexis Nov.)

The Historical Approach to Unprotected Speech and the Quantitative Analysis of Overbreadth in United States v. Stevens, 2010 Emerging Issues 5227 (LexisNexis July)

McDonald v. City of Chicago : The Second Amendment Applies to State and Local Governments , 2010 Emerging Issues 5195 (LexisNexis July 2010).

PRESENTATIONS AND PROCEEDINGS

Discussant, “The Silence After Slaughterhouse,” New and Established Voices in Constitutional Law, 2018 Conference, Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Aug. 2018.

Discussant, “Consent as a Longer Arm for Personal Jurisdiction,” New and Established Voices in Civil Procedure, 2018 Conference, Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Aug. 2018.

Panelist, Legislative Generality and the Constitution: Klein, Equal Protection, and Legislative and Presidential Singling-Out,  2018 Conference, Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Aug. 2018.

Moderator, The Revised Discovery Rules in Practice Discussion Group, 2018 Conference, Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Fort Lauderdale, Florida., Aug. 2018.

“The Supreme Court in Transition: The Last Term of the Roberts-Kennedy Court,” Federal Bar Association for the Southern District of Texas, Houston, Texas, July 2018.

Discussant, “Loving Retroactivity,” Property, Retroactivity, and Obergefell Discussion Group, 2017 Conference, Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Boca Raton, Florida, Aug. 2017.

Panel Moderator, Supreme Court Update: Individual Rights, 2017 Conference, Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Boca Raton, Florida, Aug. 2017.

“Eight is Enough–Significant Rulings of the 2016 Term of the Supreme Court,” Federal Bar Association for the Southern District of Texas, Houston, Texas, Aug. 2017.

Panelist, President Trump and the Courts, Houston Bar Association, Federal Practice Section, Houston, Texas, May 2017.

“A Most Unusual Year: The Supreme Court’s 2015-2016 Term,” Federal Bar Association for the Southern District of Texas, Houston, Texas, Aug. 2016.

Discussant, Towards “Speedy, Fair, and Efficient Justice:” Assessing the New Federal Rules, 2016 Annual Conference, The Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Amelia Island, Florida, Aug. 2016.

Panel Moderator, Supreme Court Update: Individual Rights, 2016 Annual Conference, The Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Amelia Island, Florida, Aug. 2016.

“United States Supreme Court Update: The 2014-2015 Term,” Federal Bar Association for the Southern District of Texas, Houston, Texas, July 2015.

Panelist, Originalism v. Organic Approach: Exploring the Constitutional Divide, Garland R. Walker American Inn of Court, Houston, Texas, Jan. 2015.

“A Backward Glance: The Supreme Court’s 2013-14 Term,” Federal Bar Association for the Southern District of Texas, Houston, Texas, Aug. 2014.

Discussant, Civil Procedure Roundtable: Procedural Hurdles and the Day in Court, 2014 Annual Conference, The Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Amelia Island, Florida, Aug. 2014.

Panel Moderator, Supreme Court Update: Business and Regulatory Issues, 2014 Annual Conference, The Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Amelia Island, Florida, Aug. 2014.

Discussant, Affirmative Action in the Wake of Fisher, 2013 Annual Conference, Constitutional Law Workshop, The Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Palm Beach, Florida, Aug. 2013.

Trends and Highlights from the Supreme Court’s 2012-13 Term, Federal Bar Association for the Southern District of Texas, Houston, Texas, July 2013.

The Speaker and the Speech: Dimensions of the First Amendment, Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference, Information Society Project at Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut, May 2013.

Panelist, Equal Protection under the Law and the Redefinition of Marriage, Gulf Coast Family Law Specialists, Houston, Texas, April 2013.

The 2011-12 Term of the Supreme Court: Notable Decisions and Discernible Trends, Federal Bar Association for the Southern District of Texas, Houston, Texas, Sept. 2012.

Discussant, Pedagogical Choices and Challenges in Civil Procedure, 2012 Annual Conference, The Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Amelia Island, Florida, Aug. 2012.

“October 2010 United States Supreme Court Term in Review,” Federal Bar Association for the Southern District of Texas, Houston, Texas, Aug. 2011.

Presenter, Evolution or Revolution? American Civil Procedure in the 21st Century , 2011 Annual Conference, The Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Hilton Head, South Carolina, July 2011.

Presenter, The Supreme Court Nomination Process–Is There a Litmus Test for Supreme Court Nominees , 2011 Annual Conference, The Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Hilton Head, South Carolina, July 2011.

Panelist, Greg Coleman Memorial Supreme Court Term in Review , The Federalist Society, Houston Lawyers Chapter, Houston, Texas, July 2011.

Panel Member, Will Social Media Re-Write Traditional Venue Law? Reynolds National Center for Courts and Media , Wint. Regional Conference, Houston, Texas, 2011.

October 2009 United States Supreme Court Term in Review , Federal Bar Association for the Southern District of Texas, Houston, August 2010.

Paper Presentation, The Roberts Court and the Future of American Constitutional Law , Constitutional Law Workshop, Annual Meeting, The Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Palm Beach, Florida, August 2, 2010.

Panelist, Obama, Empathy, and the Constitution, Constitutional Law Workshop , Annual Meeting, The Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Palm Beach, Florida, July 30, 2010.

Panel Moderator, The Free Exercise Clause, First Amendment Workshop , 62nd Annual Meeting, Southeastern Association of Law Schools, West Palm Beach, Florida, Aug. 2009.

October 2008 United States Supreme Court Term in Review , Federal Bar Association for the Southern District of Texas, Houston, June 2009.

Featured Panelist, The U.S. Constitution: The Presidency , Wiley Lecture Series, Texas A&M University, Sept. 17, 2007. (with Professor Lino A. Graglia)

Public Displays of Religious Imagery and Symbols , 22nd Public Conference: Separation of Church and State B Why?, Texas Lyceum Journal, July 2007, at 29.

The Impact of American Lockean Constitutional Theory on Economic Markets , 4th International Conference on Law, Athens, Greece, July 2007. (Proceedings to be published by (Athens Institute of Education & Research (ATINER))

In Search of Specificity for General Jurisdiction , Young Scholars Workshop, Southeastern Conference of the American Association of Law Schools, Kiawah, South Carolina, 2002.

Strategies for Persuasive Briefwriting , Civil Appellate Practice Seminar (Austin: Travis County Bar Association, 2000).

Mandamus Practice in the Supreme Court of Texas , Appellate Practice: a Practical Skills Course for New and Transitional Attorneys (Austin: State Bar of Texas, 1998). (Tab I)

Mandamus Practice in the Texas Supreme Court: Tips and Internal Procedures , 11th Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course (Austin: State Bar of Texas, 1997).

Challenging the Damage Award on Appeal , Damage Control Institute (Houston, TX: Houston Bar Association, 1997).


CV (PDF format)