J.D., Harvard Law School
Special Interest: Constitutional Law
Professor Brownstein, a nationally recognized Constitutional Law scholar, teaches Constitutional Law, Law and Religion, and Torts at King Hall. He holds the Boochever and Bird Chair for the Study and Teaching of Freedom and Equality. He received the UC Davis Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award in 2008 and the School of Law’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1995.
While the primary focus of his scholarship relates to church-state issues and free exercise and establishment clause doctrine, he has also written extensively on freedom of speech, privacy and autonomy rights, and other constitutional law subjects. His articles have been published in numerous academic journals including the Stanford Law Review, Cornell Law Review, and the UCLA Law Review. His most recent undertakings include editing the anthology, The Establishment of Religion Clause: Its Constitutional History and the Contemporary Debate published by Prometheus Books and co-authoring Global Issues in Freedom of Speech and Religion, soon to be published by Thomson West.
A graduate of Antioch College and Harvard Law School (where he served as a Case Editor of the Harvard Law Review), Brownstein was an attorney in general litigation and corporate practice with the law firm of Tuttle & Taylor in Los Angeles before joining the UC Davis law faculty. From 1977-78, he clerked for the Honorable Frank M. Coffin, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in Portland, Maine. He is a frequent invited lecturer at academic conferences and regularly participates as a speaker or panelist in law related programs before civic, legal, religious, and educational groups. As one notable example, for the last 18 years he has presented an annual review of the Supreme Court’s recent constitutional law cases to the Federal Bar Association, Sacramento Chapter.
Professor Brownstein also has a strong commitment to the community. He has testified on several occasions before various California Senate Committees on legislation promoting religious liberty and bills that raise establishment clause concerns. His assistance is often sought by advocacy groups on issues relating to religious liberty and equality. He is Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors of Congregation Bet Haverim and serves on the Legal Committee of the Northern California ACLU.