South Texas in the News

MAY 2023

STCL Houston Professor Dru Stevenson, who has written extensively on gun laws, recently spoke with The Dallas Morning News about the Allen massacre and existing gun laws. “If they had some sort of tribunal or proceeding and adjudicated him to have a mental impairment or disability, then they should have reported that.” Read more here.

STCL Houston Professor Dru Stevenson spoke with Fox 29 in San Antonio, TX about firearm deaths reaching new highs in Texas. “While it’s true that deaths from firearms are increasing at the same time as Texas has loosened gun restrictions, significant cultural, social and economic factors also play a role, and it’s difficult to determine which trend is causing the other.” Read more here.

STCL Houston Professor Derek Fincham shared his thoughts with iNow.info on the art world redefining what ownership means. “The law has long rested on the idea that you cannot sell what you do not have.” Read more here.

STCL Houston Professor Josh Blackman spoke with Verified News Explorer Network about a code of ethics being enforced for members of the Supreme Court. “Once such a code exists, there is no simple way for it to become ‘binding’ or ‘self-enforcing’.” Read more here.

STCL Houston Professor Charles Rhodes spoke with the New York Times about the legal theory under the Texas wrongful death act for the ex-husband bringing a claim against those assisting with an illegal abortion. “There are clear violations of Texas law in this case with respect to illegally accessing the phone,” said Rhodes. “And that’s a situation which will probably occur in other cases.” Read more here.

STCL Houston Professor Josh Blackman spoke with Heromag about a Biden legal nominee helping a group opposing his administration. “If he is indeed conservative, then maybe it wasn’t the best move for Republicans to oppose his nomination,” said Blackman. Read more here.

APRIL 2023

STCL Houston Professor James Alfini spoke with the Lawyer 2 Lawyer podcast about judicial ethics and Justice Clarence Thomas. Professor Alfini is an expert on judicial ethics and is a co-author of Judicial Conduct and Ethics published by Lexus, which is now in its sixth edition. Listen to the episode here.

STCL Houston Professor Kenneth Williams spoke with the Texas Standard about the postponed execution of Ivan Cantu pending review of new revelations in the case. “One of the biggest duties that an attorney has is to investigate, to look into the facts of the case. And to talk to witnesses. And to review maybe the evidence that the state is offering against the defendant. And to be familiar with the law. To do legal research where it would be a warranted.” Read more here.

STCL Houston Professor Josh Blackman spoke with The Daily Record about the possible impact of the recent California gas ban. Last year, the California Air Resources Board voted to ban sales of new gas furnaces and water heaters in 2030. Read more here.

STCL Houston Professor Dru Stevenson spoke with Penobscot Bay Pilot about gun manufacturers making a dramatic exodus from the state of Maine. Read more here.

STCL Houston Professor Bruce McGovern spoke with Minnesota Public Radio’s Marketplace to discuss how tax codes influence what we do with our money. America’s tax rate policies reveal other economic activities that Congress values or wants to incentivize. Read more here.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to closely look at a federal appeals court’s rationale for allowing doctors to proceed with a lawsuit that’s limited access to abortion pills. STCL Houston Professor Josh Blackman shared his thoughts with Bloomberg Tax. Read more here.

MARCH 2023

STCL Houston Professor Matthew Festa recently spoke with The Texas Tribune about state legislators’ latest tactic to ease the housing affordability crisis. “None of these bills are going to magically provide more housing,” said Festa. “What they’re going to do is allow people to build if there’s demand for it.” Read more here.


STCL Houston Professor Josh Blackman spoke with The Eagle recently about Title 42 border policy and Biden administration’s desire to end the pandemic-era directive. “The high court’s decision to cancel the hearing was “expected,” given the potential for the issue to no longer be relevant. It also signals that the high court may ultimately toss the case.” Read more here.

STCL Houston Professor Richard Carlson spoke with Houston Public Media about Governor Greg Abbott’s DEI memo. “Under state law, it is illegal for employers to base hiring on race or use what’s known as “quota hiring” to diversify their workplace, but diversity can be characterized in many different ways.”Read more here.

STCL Houston Professor Josh Blackman shared his thoughts on Governor Greg Abbott’s DEI memo with Trainersadda.com. “Abbott’s memo cited federal civil rights laws, namely Title VI, which prohibits discrimination and exclusion from federal programs based on race, color or national origin, and Naz. VII, which prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Read more here.

STCL Houston Professor Josh Blackman spoke to MSN.com about the Supreme Court case against President Biden’s student debt relief plan. “The basic threshold issue is, is Missouri, is Nebraska – are these states injured today?” said South Texas College of Law professor Josh Blackman. Read more here.


STCL Houston Professor Josh Blackman shared his thoughts with Canada Today about the Supreme Court Investigation on the leaked abortion bill. “The court did what it could with its resources, but the decision to maintain this detention prevented it from conducting a full, thorough investigation,” Josh Blackman, a professor at the South Texas College of Law. Read more here.

STCL Houston Professor Dru Stevenson spoke with CNBC about gun companies reckoning with declining demand after the pandemic. “During the pandemic, people were worried about societal collapse in one way or another,” Read more here.


Professor Josh Blackman recently spoke with The Washington Times about the American Bar Association’s decision to make standardized testing optional for law school admissions. “The decision to make the LSAT optional is made in the shadow of the Supreme Court’s pending affirmative action case.”

Recently, Professor Njeri Rutledge shared her thoughts for the Houston Chronicle on the Deshaun Watson sexual assault case, and the hurdles a prosecutor might face trying to get a conviction.

Recently, Professor Matthew Festa spoke with The Christian Science Monitor about Houston’s zoning model.  “Houston isn’t exactly the free-for-all it gets portrayed as.”

Professor Josh Blackman shared his thoughts with Raw Story on the legal challenges Donald Trump could face during this 2024 presidential race. “The landscape for the Trump issue is very clean, there’s not much precedent and it gives a lot of these local and state officials a huge amount of discretion to try to keep him off the ballot.”


STCL Houston’s innovative new J.D. Part-time / Online schedule recently was featured in the Houston Business Journal.

Professor Kenneth Williams shared his thoughts on the second mistrial declared in the AJ Armstrong case with ABC 13.

Staff Attorney Vinh Ho commented on human trafficking with The Commercial Appeal. “Human trafficking is modern-day slavery — it’s when an employer uses force, fraud or coercion to make someone perform labor or commercial sex against their will.”

Professor Charles “Rocky” Rhodes was a guest on Houston Matters with Craig Cohen to talk about the decision a judge in Texas made to block the student debt relief program. “To be able to bring a claim in court you have to show that you have been injured by the program, and that the ruling from the court will help remedy or take away or redress that injury.”

Professor Josh Blackman spoke with Fox 26 about what borrowers need to know about the status of student debt relief program.

Professor Matthew Festa shared his thoughts with Houston Public Media on a Harris County judge allowing an extra hour of voting during this month’s election. “Both courts worked very quickly, and it was really a case study … in how courts can respond quickly to pressing issues.”


Professor Charles Rocky Rhodes shared his thoughts with Forbes.com  about a Trump-appointed judge striking down a proposed law against Texas teenagers carrying handguns.

Professor Charles Rocky Rhodes shared his thoughts on the Texas law banning abortion in the Texas Standard.

Professor Kenneth Williams commented on the years-long attempt to have Judge Franklin Bynum removed from the bench. Read the Houston Chronicle story.

Brandon Draper, Director, Trial Advocacy Center at STCL Houston recently spoke on the podcast Unscripted Direct.

Professor Amanda Peters commented in a Houston Chronicle story on a mother’s fight to get justice for her son’s death.

Professor Ryan Nelson commented on a disabled veteran’s years-long wait for a settlement from the Air Force in an article appearing in the Texas Tribune.

Professor Njeri Rutledge appeared on Fox 26 recently to share her thoughts on cell phones in classrooms.

Professor Dru Brenner-Beck represented South Texas College of Law Houston on KPRC’s Houston Newsmakers program, where she discussed the on-going petition for clemency on behalf of the black soldiers who were treated unjustly immediately after the Camp Logan riot in 1917. Historian John Haymond and James Dixon of the Houston chapter of the NAACP also participated.

JUNE 2022

Professor Dru Stevenson’s comments on recent state laws requiring gun manufacturers to use microstamping technology appeared in an AP wire story picked up by multiple outlets. The article “New push in NY to force gunmakers to adopt microstamping” appeared in The Washington Post, ABC News, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Las Vegas Sun News, and others.

UNWatch.org reported that Professor Geoffrey Corn will participate in a side event discussion regarding the Pillay Report on June 13, 2022.

Assistant Professor Ryan Nelson provided his perspective on indexed state minimum wage laws in a Law360article titled “Inflation is Sending State Wage Floors Above $15 an Hour.”

An article in the Houston Chronicle titled “Hidalgo aides say Ogg is biased, DA’s office should be removed from vaccine contract case” includes comments from Professor Amanda Peters on the rarity of such an action by the court.

Professor Shelby Moore commented on the legal term “malingering” in a Houston Chronicle article about a defendant’s behavior in a recent criminal proceeding.

Comments from two STCL Houston faculty members were included in a recent New York Times article about DeShaun Watson’s legal issues. Professor Njeri Mathis Rutledge addressed the extent of the contact between the prosecutor in the criminal investigation and Watson’s defense attorney. Professor Amanda Peters shared her thoughts on the defense attorney’s decision to not present Watson to the Grand Jury in person.

Professor Josh Blackman shared his thoughts on how certain justices might vote in the LAW360 article titled “Dobbs Draft Hints At Bold Court With Harvard Case On Deck.”

Professor Josh Blackman commented on the possible impact of a decision to strike down New York’s “may issue” regime in an article titled “Supreme Court may expand gun rights in ruling over New York concealed carry law,” which was published in the Washington Examiner and picked up by The Denver Gazette and others.

Professor Ryan H. Nelson’s perspective on how to prevent a ruling that would overturn Roe v. Wade was examined in an AlterNet article about his suggestion regarding the possibility of judges denying a quorum, titled “Law professor explains how dissenting justices can save Roe.”

Comments from two STCL Houston faculty members were included in a recent New York Times article about DeShaun Watson’s legal issues. Professor Njeri Mathis Rutledge addressed the extent of the contact between the prosecutor in the criminal investigation and Watson’s defense attorney. Professor Amanda Peters shared her thoughts on the defense attorney’s decision to not present Watson to the Grand Jury in person.

May 2022

In The New York Times, STCL Houston Professor Dru Stevensonshared his perspective on a new law in Texas that bars state agencies from working with a firm that “discriminates” against companies or individuals in the gun industry. He called the law “bad public policy.”

KHOU News interviewed Professor Matt Festa about the neighboring property owners’ rights in their story titled “Houston-area residents furious about plans to cut down oak tree.”

In an Associated Press story focused on how “Posts misrepresent new Texas handgun laws,” Dru Stevenson, the STCL Houston Wayne Fisher Research Professor, said, “From what I read of the open carry statute, it is 21 and above” — not 18, as many are stating in social posts and news stories.

The Houston Chronicle quoted Professor Derek Fincham in an article titled “MFAH wins lawsuit over contested artwork bought by Hitler’s dealer.”

Professor Charles “Rocky” Rhodes was quoted in a Texas Tribune article about Texas abortion restrictions titled “Texas Republicans say if Roe falls, they’ll focus on adoptions and preventing women from seeking abortions elsewhere.”

Professor Josh Blackman and other constitutional law professors from Texas answered questions for KHOU 11 News about the SCOTUS draft leak in an article posted on the TV station’s website.

Community Impact Newspaper quoted Professor Matthew Festa in an article titled, “Texas Central’s high-speed rail development stalls.”

Law & Crime quoted Professor Josh Blackman in an article titled, “Mitch McConnell’s call for DOJ.”

Professor Charles “Rocky” Rhodes was quoted in a KHOU 11 news story titled “Gov. Abbott says immigration has created ‘extraordinary’ challenges to public school system.”

Professor Josh Blackman was quoted in articles about the leak of the Alito draft in the The Washington Times, the New York Post and Bloomberg Law.

LAW360: Employment Authority quoted Professor Josh Blackman in an article titled “Employers Weigh Risks, Benefits of Backing Abortion Access.”

April 2022

Professor Kenneth Williams was a panelist on KUHT/Houston Public Media’s show “Town Square” and discussed the Melissa Lucio death row case.

The Houston Chronicle  quoted Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus James Alfini in an article titled “Houston Police Union Spars with UT Professor over Texas Execution of Carl Buntion.”

LAW360  quoted Professor Jeff Rensberger in an article titled “Justices’ Jurisdiction Review Could Prove ‘Seismic’ to Cos.”

mrcTV – NFL Mired in Watson Scandal Professor Kenneth Williams gave his remarks on the NFL’s Deshaun Watson scandal and controversy as the annual draft nears.

Houston Public Media Professor Charles “Rocky” Rhodes was quoted in an article titled “Galveston County’s redistricting plan provides a serious test case for the weakened voting rights act.”

Reason.com Abstract of “The ‘Essential’ Second Amendment,” a recent article by Professor Josh Blackman, published by The Texas Review of Law & Politics.

March 2022

Professor Njeri Rutledge attended the first two days of confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Here are other links to articles that featured Prof. Rutledge speaking about Judge Brown.

NBC News USA Today Business Insider
NY Times KHOU Houston News FOX 26 News
Religion News KHOU Houston News GBH News
Yahoo.com BET


January 2022

Professor Njeri Mathis Rutledge joined a panel discussion on Fox26 Friday morning to reflect on President Biden’s first year in office. 

December 2021

Law360.com interviewed and quoted Professor Bruce McGovern in an article titled “Top Federal Tax Cases Of 2021” discussing if a taxpayer has a seriously delinquent tax debt (as defined by statute), then the IRS is authorized to certify that fact to the State Department, which is then authorized to revoke or deny the individual’s U.S. passport.

Professor Charles “Rocky” Rhodes, the Charles Weigel II Research Professor of State and Federal Constitutional Law, explains what happened in a challenge to Roe v. Wade at the U.S. Supreme Court during an interview with Houston Public Media.

Dean J. Alfini, professor of law and dean emeritus, discussed ethical guidelines for judges on the Lawyer 2 Lawyer podcast.

November 2021

BET.com published an op-ed by Professor Njeri Rutledge titled “OPINION: Why The Kyle Rittenhouse Homicide Trial Was Little More Than A Controlled Circus”

October 2021

Houston Public Media quoted Professor Josh Blackman in a story titled “Texas asks federal appeals court to restore near-total abortion ban ‘as soon as possible’.”

The Houston Chronicle quoted Professor Josh Blackman in an article titled, “Abbott setting up another legal fight with Biden over vaccinations.”

Law360 published an article by Professor Rocky Rhodes titled, “How To Overcome Procedural Hurdles Of Texas Abortion Law.”

USA Today published an op-ed authored by Professor Njeri Rutledge Matthews titled, “Colin Powell and I were once Black Republicans. He taught me to put country over party.”

ABC 13 interviewed Professor Ken Williams in a story titled, “Teen claims he was asleep when he stabbed twin sister to death.”