Professor of Law, Spurgeon E. Bell Distinguished Professorship
B.A., University of Chicago
J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School
Areas of Expertise
- Constitutional Law
Professor R. Randall Kelso is the Spurgeon E. Bell Distinguished Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law Houston. He teaches and writes primarily in the area of Constitutional Law. He also teaches Contracts, and has taught Professional Responsibility and Jurisprudence in the past. He earned his B.A., in Mathematics, from the University of Chicago in 1976, and his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin‐Madison in 1979.
Professor Kelso’s current research projects focus on building a set of Constitutional Law materials accessible online for students at South Texas College of Law, at other law schools, or the public in general. With his father, Charles D. Kelso, an Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, he has published: CHARLES D. KELSO & R. RANDALL KELSO, THE PATH OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (2007) (with Yearly Updated Supplements through 2017) (E‐Treatise on United States Supreme Court doctrine interpreting the United States Constitution); CHARLES D. KELSO & R. RANDALL KELSO, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: AN E‐COURSEBOOK VOLUMES 1 & 2 (2017 ORIG. ED. 2014) (VOLUME 1: THE STRUCTURAL CONSTITUTION: SEPARATION OF POWERS AND FEDERALISM; VOLUME 2: INDIVIDUAL ECONOMIC, CIVIL, AND POLITICAL RIGHTS IN THE CONSTITUTION EXCLUSIVE OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT); CHARLES D. KELSO & R. RANDALL KELSO, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: AN E‐COURSEBOOK VOLUME 3: THE FIRST AMENDMENT (2017 ORIG. ED. 2014); and R. RANDALL KELSO & CHARLES D. KELSO, STUDYING LAW: AN INTRODUCTION (2d ed. 2010) (legal methods materials on studying law in a common‐law legal system, with particular focus on the United States). All of these books are available online at: http://libguides.stcl.edu/kelsomaterials
Professor Kelso’s articles have appeared in the Texas Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Seton Hall Journal of Constitutional Law, Cardozo Law Review, Hastings Law Review, Pepperdine Law Review, and Quinnipiac Law Review, among others.
Professor Kelso has been a visiting law professor at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and the University of Aarhus School of Law in Aarhus, Denmark. Prior to joining the faculty of South Texas College of Law in 1983, he taught Legal Research and Writing at the University of Miami School of Law from 1979‐1980 and at Columbia University School of Law from 1980‐1982.
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Contra Scalia, Thomas, and Gorsuch: Originalists Should Adopt a Living Constitution, 72 U. Miami L. Rev. 112 (2017).
The Structure of Modern Free Speech Doctrine: Strict Scrutiny, Intermediate Review, and “Reasonableness” Balancing , 8 Elon L. Rev. 291 (2016).
The Structure Of Planned Parenthood v. Casey Abortion Rights Law: Strict Scrutiny For Substantial Obstacles On Abortion Choice And Otherwise Reasonableness Balancing , 34 Quinnipiac L. Rev. 75 (2015).
The Constitutional Jurisprudence of Justice Kennedy on Separation of Powers and Federalism , 42 Capital U. L. Rev. 531 (2014).
United States Standards of Review versus the International Standard of Proportionality: Convergence and Symmetry , 39 Ohio Northern U.L. Rev. 455 (2013).
Justice Kennedy’s Jurisprudence On The First Amendment Religion Clauses , 44 McGeorge L. Rev. 103 (2013).
The Constitutional Jurisprudence Of Justice Kennedy On Speech , 49 San Diego L. Rev. 693 (2012). (with Charles D. Kelso)
Modern Moral Reasoning And Emerging Trends In Constitutional And Other Rights Decision-Making Around The World , 29 Quinnipiac L. Rev. 433 (2011).
The Constitutional Jurisprudence of Justice Kennedy on Liberty , 8 Dartmouth L.J. 29 (2011). (with Charles D. Kelso) (Aug. 1, 2010), available at http://works.bepress.com/randall_kelso/6/ .
Judicial Decisionmaking and Judicial Review: The State of the Debate, Circa 2009 , 112 W. Va. L. Rev. 351 (2010). (with Charles D. Kelso)
Custom and Tradition Versus Reason in Modern Secular and Religious Moral Reasoning and in Modern Constitutional Law , available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1025993 )
Narcissism, Generation X, the Corporate Elite, and the Religious Right Within the Modern Republican Party: a Set of “Friendly” Observations for President Bush , 24 Cardozo L. Rev. 1971 (2003).
Standards of Review Under the Equal Protection Clause and Related Constitutional Doctrines Protecting Individual Rights: the “Base Plus Six” Model and Modern Supreme Court Practice , 4 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 225 (2002).
Swing Votes on the Current Supreme Court: the Joint Opinion in Casey and Its Progeny , 29 Pepp. L. Rev. 637 (2002). (with Charles D. Kelso)
Sandra Day O’Connor: a Justice Who Has Made a Difference in Constitutional Law , 32 McGeorge L. Rev. 915 (2001). (with Charles D. Kelso).
Reflections on the Learning-Disabled Lawyer: Or on the Importance of Being Swift – A Modest Proposal , 42 S. Tex. L. Rev. 119 (2000).
A Post-Conference Reflection on Federalism, Toleration, and Human Rights , 40 S. Tex. L. Rev. 811 (1999).
A Post-Conference Reflection on the Lawyer’s Duty to Promote the Common Good , 40 S. Tex. L. Rev. 299 (1999).
Statutory Interpretation Doctrine on the Modern Supreme Court and Four Doctrinal Approaches to Judicial Decision-Making , 25 Pepp. L. Rev. 37 (1997).
Standing to Sue: Transformations in Supreme Court Methodology, Doctrine and Results , 28 U. Tol. L. Rev. 93 (1996). (with Charles D. Kelso)
How the Supreme Court Is Dealing with Precedents in Constitutional Cases , 62 Brook. L. Rev. 973 (1996). (with Charles D. Kelso).
The Natural Law Tradition on the Modern Supreme Court. Not Burke, but the Enlightenment Tradition Represented by Locke, Madison, and Marshall , 26 St. Mary’s L.J. 1051 (1995).
Three Years Hence: an Update on Filling Gaps in the Supreme Court’s Approach to Constitutional Review of Legislation , 36 S. Tex. L. Rev. 1 (1995).
Considerations of Legislative Fit Under Equal Protection, Substantive Due Process, and Free Speech Doctrine: Separating Questions of Advancement, Relationship and Burden , 28 U. Rich. L. Rev. 1279 (1994).
Styles of Constitutional Interpretation and the Four Main Approaches to Constitutional Interpretation in American Legal History , 29 Val. U. L. Rev. 121 (1994).
Separation of Powers Doctrine on the Modern Supreme Court and Four Doctrinal Approaches to Judicial Decisionmaking , 20 Pepp. L. Rev. 531 (1993).
Filling Gaps in the Supreme Court’s Approach to Constitutional Review of Legislation: Standards, Ends, and Burdens Reconsidered , 33 S. Tex. L. Rev. 493 (1992).
Constitutional Law and Civil Rights , 35 Loy. L. Rev. 769 (1989).
Abortion Law in the United States , 7 Comp. L. Y.B. 61 (1983). (with Charles D. Kelso)
Appeals in Federal Courts by Prosecuting Entities Other than the United States: the Plain Meaning Rule Revisited , 33 Hastings L.J. 187 (1981). (with C. Kevin Kelso) (reprinted in Norman J. Singer, Statutes and Statutory Construction 733 (5th ed. 1992) and in 2A Norman J. Singer, Sutherland Statutory Construction §48A:16 (6th ed. 2000).
Legal Education’s Future: Broadening Horizon or Narrowing Window , 59 Wash. U. L.Q. 661 (1981). (with Charles D. Kelso).
Focus on Cameras in the Courtroom: the Florida Experience, the California Experiment, and the Pending Decision in Chandler v. Florida, 12 Pac. L.J. 1 (1980). (with Sonia M. Pawluc)
The Personal Attack Rule and Professional Occupations: Consistency in FCC Decisionmaking , 16 Cal. W. L. Rev. 399 (1980). (with Diane Finelum Pinchuk)
Breach of Contract , 4 Learning & L., Summer 1977, at 40. (with Charles D. Kelso)
Antitrust and the Anti-Injunction Statute , Vendo v. Lecktro Vend Corp., 1977 Wis. L. Rev. 1208.
Studying Law: An Introduction . 2nd ed. (2010) (with Charles D. Kelso)(available at http://libguides.stcl.edu/kelsomaterials).
The Path of Constitutional Law: Companion Book to E-Treatise. (Lake Mary, FL: Vandeplas Publishing, 2007). (with Charles D. Kelso)
The Path of Constitutional Law. (Lake Mary, FL: Vandeplas Publishing, 2007). (with Charles D. Kelso)
Studying Law: an Introduction. (St. Paul, MN: West Pub. Co., 1984). (with Charles D. Kelso).
Not so Unprecedented: A Review of Unprecedented: the Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare by Josh Blackman, (available at SSRN)
Book Review , 39 McGeorge L. Rev. 1131 (2008) (reviewing, Jeffrey Toobin, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court (2007)). (with Charles D. Kelso)
Of Cabbages and Kings: a Review of Our Undemocratic Constitution by Sanford Levinson , 86 Tex. L. Rev. 1263 (2008) (reviewing, Sanford Levinson, Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It) (2006)). (with Charles D. Kelso)
Politics and the Constitution: a Review of Judge Malcolm Wilkey’s Call for a Second Constitutional Convention , 27 Pac. L.J. 1213 (1996)(reviewing Malcolm R. Wilkey, Is it Time for a Second Constitutional Convention? (1995)). (with Charles D. Kelso)
Our Nine Tribunes: a Review of Professor Lusky’s Call for Judicial Restraint , 5 Seton Hall Const. L. J. 1289 (1995)(reviewing Louis Lusky, Our Nine Tribunes: the Supreme Court in Modern America (1993)). (with Charles D. Kelso)
Reason, Morality and Wealth: Gewirth, Posner and the University of Chicago Approach , 7 Okla. City U. L. Rev. 131 (1982)(reviewing Alan Gewirth, Reason & Morality (1981)).
Godel, Escher, Bach: More Darkness or Day for Night , 1981 Wis. L. Rev. 822 (reviewing Douglas R. Hofstadter, Godel, Esher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid (1980)).
2016 Supplement to The Path of Constitutional Law. (Lake Mary, FL: Vandeplas Publishing). (with Charles D. Kelso). available at: http://libguides.stcl.edu/kelsomaterials
2015 Supplement to The Path of Constitutional Law. (Lake Mary, FL: Vandeplas Publishing). (with Charles D. Kelso) available at: http://libguides.stcl.edu/kelsomaterials
2014 Supplement to The Path of Constitutional Law. (Lake Mary, FL: Vandeplas Publishing). (with Charles D. Kelso)
2010 Supplement to The Path of Constitutional Law. (Lake Mary, FL: Vandeplas Publishing). (with Charles D. Kelso)
2009 Supplement to The Path of Constitutional Law. (Lake Mary, FL: Vandeplas Publishing). (with Charles D. Kelso)
A Post-Conference Reflection on Federalism, Toleration, and Human Rights , in Comparative Federalism in the Devolution Era (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2002).
Appeals in Federal Courts by Prosecuting Entities Other than the United States: the Plain Meaning Rule Revisited , 33 Hastings L.J. 187 (1981). (with C. Kevin Kelso) (reprinted in Norman J. Singer, Statutes and Statutory Construction 733 (5th ed.), 2A Norman J. Singer, Sutherland Statutory Construction §48A:16 (6th ed.), also 2A Norman J. Singer, Sutherland Statutory Construction §48A:16 (7th ed.).
PRESENTATIONS & PROCEEDINGS
Use of International Sources in United States Constitutional Interpretation , International Association of Law Schools Conference on Constitutional Law, Washington, D.C. (Sept. 11-14, 2009),http://www.ialsnet.org/meetings/constit/papers/KelsoRandall(USA).pdf
Trust Company Investments in Guaranteed Student Loans , Occasional Paper Under the John Stauffer Charitable Trust (Sacramento, CA: University of the Pacific. McGeorge School of Law, 1984).