Faculty Profile for Dr. Christopher Ralph Brown

profile photo for Dr. Christopher Ralph Brown
Dr. Christopher Ralph Brown
Associate Professor — Political Science
Associate Professor — Political Science
UAC 345
phone: (512) 245-4404

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Christopher R. Brown serves as Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at Texas State University, where he focuses on legal studies and public administration. He completed his undergraduate studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and his graduate work in law and public administration at the University of Texas at Austin. Before arriving at Texas State University he served as a judicial clerk to the Texas Court of Appeals for the Eighth Judicial District, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, litigated on behalf of the Texas Attorney General’s Office in federal and state courts, served as an air and water quality attorney for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, instructed third-year law students in Tulane Law School’s environmental law clinic, and worked on surface water environmental flow issues for the National Wildlife Federation.

Teaching Interests

Created and teaches course on Texas water law and policy, which grew out of legal practice and research/publication interest in water.

Teaches public law course on federal and Texas levels. This course focuses in part on the constitutional basis for legislative-executive cooperation to carry out the police powers doctrine under Article I, section 8 of the Constitution: government's duty to further the health, safety, and welfare of citizens. The course also emphasizes statutory construction and the manner in which police power-based legislation transfers responsibilities to agencies, the statutory principles that govern the function of agencies, the principles of judicial review over agency decision making, and the overriding concern for due process in agency functions.

Teaches course on Texas civil litigation based on the state rules of civil procedure and evidence.

Teaches intensive course on legal drafting at the pretrial, trial, and appellate levels. This course offers an intensive review of grammar and style in the legal context, the differing writing styles associated with different phases of litigation, and legal citation form.

Research Interests

See Professional Interests
Currently working toward completion of Ph.D. in environmental geography

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Brown, C. R. (2020). The Special Purpose District Reconsidered: The Fifth Circuit’s Recent Declaration that the Edwards Aquifer Authority is a Special Purpose District under the Voting Rights Act, and the Tortured History that Led to That Decision. Hastings Environmental Law Journal, 27(1). Retrieved from https://repository.uhastings.edu/hastings_environmental_law_journal.
  • Rahm, D., Brittain, V., Brown, C., Garofalo, C., Rangarajan, N., Shields, P., & Yun, H. J. (2015). Exploring the demand for PhDs in public affairs and administration. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 21(1), 115–128.
  • Brown, C. R. (n.d.). A Litigious Proposal: A Citizen’s Duty to Challenge Climate Change in the Courts. In P. G. Harris (Ed.), Ethics, Environmental Justice, and Climate Change (pp. 385–457). 10 Heatherley Road, Camberley, Surrey,GU15 3LW UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Brown, C. (2013). Proposed CAFO information Disclosure Rules and Their Potential to Improve Water Quality. Arizona Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 4(5). Retrieved from https://www.ajelp.com
  • Brown, C. (2013). Dairy Discharges: How Misguided Federal Decisions on Surface Water Quality Also Harm New Mexico’s Tributary Groundwater. New Mexico Law Review, 42(2).

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Alpha Chi National Honor Society Favorite Professor, Alpha Chi National Honor Society. September 1, 2015 - Present
  • Award / Honor Recipient: National First Place Winner, Cormac McCarthy parody fiction writing contest: "Not Cormac". January 1, 1999
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Presidential Management Internship Program: accelerated honors program for federal agencies. January 1, 1995
  • Award / Honor Recipient: International Parliamentary Debate Championship, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. January 1, 1993
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Gibbs and Ratliff Endowed Moot Court Competition, University of Texas School of Law. January 1, 1992

Selected Service Activities

“Common Experience” and “Discourse in Democracy” Event: “Echoes of Flint: Water Quality Threats to Texas Cities.”
September 24, 2019
Pro Bono Legal Services through St. James Episcopal Church
Saint James Episcopal Church
June 1, 2019-Present
Texas Stream Team
August 2018-Present
Administrative Law Section and Environmental Law Section, Texas Bar
February 19, 2017-Present
Texas Master Naturalist
January 1, 2017-Present